About Jon Reades

Research Interests

My research draws on academic theory and ‘quantitative social science’ methods to address contemporary challenges in urban and regional development. My experience in planning and geography, as well as databases and programming, enables me to translate concepts and applications across disciplinary boundaries while paying attention to the details of the data, the methods, and the definition of appropriate research questions.

Focus Areas

  • Smart Cities & ‘Big Data’ – I work with event data from urban infrastructure systems to understand human behaviour, while also contextualising these insights in relationship to governance and politics.
  • Location & Infrastructure Networks – I focus on how firms select ‘optimal’ locations by balancing access to infrastructure networks; building up a ‘big picture’ of the trajectories of urban and regional economies.
  • New, Open Data & ‘Old’ Methods – I am interested in how new – often open – data sources create opportunities to revisit ideas about urban form and function, and to re-evaluate neglected methods.
  • Housing & Socio-economic Trends – I am interested in ways to map the relationship of housing to socioeconomic trends using behavioural data on about the housing market and travel-to-work.

Impact Metrics

Google Scholar h-index: 5 (464 citations since 2010).
Web of Science h-index: 4.


I joined King’s College London’s Geography Department as Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography at the start of 2013. Previously, I was a Research Associate for two years at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (and am pleased to continue that relationship as an Honorary Researcher) following the completion of my MPhil/PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning. I hold a B.A. (1997) in Comparative Literature from Princeton University.

In the intervening years, I worked for a database mining and marketing start-up based in New York and London in a range of capacities: graphic designer, web application developer, and project manager. This work stimulated my interest in ‘big data’ and its potential as a platform for examining and acting upon ‘smart cities’. In my research, I have collaborated with public and private sector organisations such as MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, Transport for London, Telecom Italia, AT&T, British Telecom, and IBM’s Smarter Cities lab near Dublin.

Tying these collaborations and research interests together is a long-standing interest in the impact that communications technologies are having on our society and economy: on access to opportunity and mobility; on firm location, clustering, and growth; and on our understanding of human interaction on a vast scale.

I blog periodically on these issues at reades.com and tweet under @jreades.

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