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Alexander Noll

About me

I am a PhD student at the CDT Urban Science & Progress, based at the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities under the supervision of Professor Rob Procter and Assistant Professor Nerea Calvillo. I graduated with a first-class BA Hons. in (Human) Geography from Goethe University, Frankfurt, and a MSc in Urban Regeneration from UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning, London. My studies further included a semester at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich where I studied Political Geography and Urban Planning. Next to my academic experiences, I have worked in the real estate development department of a large Swiss construction company. This involved the management of two projects, data gathering and analysis from internal and external sources, and negotiating with private and public stakeholders.

I am affiliate member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and postgraduate fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). I am also member of the German-Canadian Association (DKG).


Influenced by my studies and work experiences, I have developed a keen interest in the concept of ‘smart cities’ as a new urban planning paradigm. Although a unanimous definition of the term does not exist, a common denominator is the belief that data derived from cutting-edge technology could be used to inform better decision making in urban governance and to find solutions to contemporary urban challenges. For many city-government-led, holistic smart city projects the focus often still lies on the improvement of everyday operation efficiency although overlappings with the spheres of urban planning are evident.

My research therefore seeks to bridge the gap between the emerging field of urban science and urban planning by focusing on the potential of data-driven approaches to inform urban planning. My current focus lies on strategic, regional planning for combined authorities in England. Thus, the spatial scale of this research project is not smart cities but what could be called smart city-regions. It envisages to determine how latest technology pertaining to the smart city discourse can inform and transform traditional ways of evidence gathering for plan-making and what changes in governance may be needed to enable this transformation. Furthermore, it seeks to determine how collaborative approaches between departmental silos and across administrative boundaries may be informed by this. It will deploy approaches from geo-spatial analysis as well as ethnographic methods.

My research is kindly sponsored with a PhD studentship by the EPSRC.



  • Designing and Conducting Social Research, Seminar Teacher (SO242)
  • Professional Skills for Computer Scientists, Seminar Teacher, (CS113)
  • Social Informatics, Lab Demonstrator (CS348)


  • Social Informatics, Lab Demonstrator (CS348)
  • Small guest lecture in the module 'The Sociology of Urban Life' (SO9C5)


  • 2019: Regional Studies Association Early Career Conference, University of Lincoln


  • 2019: Beyond Smart Cities Today, BOLD Centre Rotterdam
  • 2019: RTPI NW: PlanTec Essentials, one-day conference
  • 2018: RTPI Young Planners' Conference in Nottingham
  • 2018: Warwick UN Cities Day, part of Warwick's Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority
  • 2015: "Financialisation of Financial and Real Estate Markets", Goethe University, Chair: Prof. S. Heeg
  • 2013: "Visual Geographies III: Practices of Geographical Views", Goethe University; Chair: Prof. A. Schlottmann


Alexander dot noll at warwick dot ac dot uk

Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities

Office MB4.17
University of Warwick,