Professor John Gold


Emeritus Professor of Urban Historical Geography

School of Law and Social Sciences

John Gold


Professor John Gold is undertaking research that will lead to the final volume in his trilogy of books on the experiential history of the Modern Movement in British architecture. The first phase of this research, covered in his book The Experience of Modernism (Routledge, 1997), examined the anticipation of future urban forms and patterns of city life by modern architects between 1928-53. The second phase, examined in his book, The Practice of Modernism (Routledge, 2007), investigated the relationship between vision and practice in the years of metropolitan reconstruction (1954-72). The final book, The Legacy of Modernism (c. 2014), will use the same blend of oral historical and documentary research to consider the continuing experience of architectural modernism after the denouement of the 1970s up to the end of the twentieth century and reflect on modernism’s lasting impact on our towns and cities.

The outcomes of other recent projects include the book Representing the Environment (Routledge, 2004) on the cultural politics of environmental representation, which was jointly written with George Revill, and two books (with Margaret M. Gold) on the role and staging of cultural festivals. These are Cities of Culture: Staging International Festivals and the Urban Agenda, 1851-2000, (Ashgate Press, 2005) and the edited collection Olympic Cities: City Agendas, Planning, and the World’s Games, 1896-2016, (published in Routledge’s Studies in History, Planning and the Environment series, 2007 and 2011). He has recently completed a four-volume on The Making of Olympic Cities. In 2013, he will publish a work on non-ambulatory festivals entitled Festival Cities: Culture, Planning and Urban Life since 1918 (again for publication in Routledge’s Studies in History, Planning and the Environment series).

John was an undergraduate at the London School of Economics, from where holds a BSc (Econ) degree. He undertook postgraduate research in urban studies, specialising in architectural history, at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, University of Birmingham, from where he holds the degrees of both MSocSci and PhD. He is now Professor of Urban Historical Geography and is a member of the University’s Institute for Historical and Cultural Research.

Over the last 20 years, he has held visiting positions at the London School of Economics, the University of Surrey, the University of Birmingham (where he was Honorary Senior Research Fellow, 1998-2006), and Queen Mary, University of London, where he has twice been Visiting Professor. He has organised symposia, undertaken frequent work for the broadcasting media, given guest lectures and keynote addresses at many international conferences in Britain, North America, Scandinavia and Western Europe. Among many awards, he won the 1999 AESOP Prize for the 'best article in a journal or collection of papers, by an author researching in planning in Europe.'


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