Simon is an urbanist with an interest in the social, political and environmental interrelationships between socio-technical infrastructures and urban and regional contexts. He is currently the Carillion Chair of Low Carbon Cities in the Durham Energy Institute and Department of Geography at the University of Durham. Prior to this he was the founding co-director of the Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures at the University of Salford and the Centre for Urban Technology at the University of Newcastle. His PhD was awarded by the Open University on the urban politics of CHP and prior to that he trained as an urban planner.
His work is noted for the way it develops innovative, interdisciplinary perspectives to help open up and explore important new agendas for urban and infrastructure research. To date, he has played major roles within urban research towards addressing important questions surrounding telecommunications, infrastructure and mobility, sustainability and infrastructure, smart meters, interdisciplinary urban research, and, most recently, cities, systemic transitions, energy, climate change and ecological security.
Marvin has co-authored six books including: World Cities and Climate Change. Open University Press; 2010 with Mike Hodson, Shaping Urban Infrastructures – Intermediaries and the Governance of Socio-Technical Networks. Earthscan; 2011 with Simon Guy, Will Medd and Tim Moss, Cities and Low Carbon Transitons, Routledge 2011 with Harriet Bulkeley, Vanes Castan-Broto and Mike Hodson. With Stephen Graham he is co-author of Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition. Routledge 2001 and Telecommunications and the City: Electronic Spaces, Physical Spaces Routledge 1996.
Simon is currently working with the UNEP as a lead author on a major new report on decoupling cities and resource use. His research is currently focused on two large programmes. The first looking at comparative urban responses to climate change and resource constraint by cities in Africa, China, Sweden and the UK funded by the Mistra Foundation. The second funded by the EPSRC looks at whether and how UK cities develop the knowledge and capability to systemically reengineer their built environment and urban infrastructure.