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What is on at Downtown? Places, People and Movement in an Urban and Digital Age (Advert Reference: SF19/BL/EIS/DILAVER)

Faculty of Business and Law

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Dr O Dilaver , Prof D Charles Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Urbanisation and digital transformation are two facets of extensive societal change. The former presents a unique dilemma: while more people are attracted to cities around the world, many city centres - the quintessential core of this attraction - are deserted to decay. Together, these two forces of attraction and repulsion form ‘spatial vibrations’ that re-order urban settings in which everyday lives of residents are embedded. The latter is not isolated from this process, technology influences who goes where and why. On one hand, digital technologies substitute some daily movements by allowing individuals to work from home and order goods and services online. On the other hand, they facilitate movement by making it easier to investigate places, establish connections, plan journeys, and even, share vehicles. Changing routines of movement have implications for the material forms (e.g. land use, available facilities, air quality) and meanings of places, which further influence mobility patterns.

The proposed PhD project is part of a broader interdisciplinary research trajectory that addresses these complex social and spatial processes. In addition to depicting and shedding light on issues of theoretical interest, this research is expected to inform crucial decisions of businesses, councils, local authorities and other stakeholders in the changing role and character of cities and city centres. Focusing on Newcastle (and Gateshead), the project will explore interdependent impacts of digital transformation and mobility on people (from different demographic groups, identities and backgrounds), places (e.g. neighbourhoods, places of work, leisure) and sustainability (carbon emissions and air pollution) through data-driven (qualitative and/or quantitative) agent-based models and simulation-based scenario analyses. Simulations are expected to provide insights on the city-level outcomes of individual interactions, and thereby support decision/policy making in relation to life and livelihood in Newcastle for improving social, economic and environmental sustainability.

This project is supervised by Dr Ozge Dilaver and Prof David Charles.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Heitlinger, S., Clarke, R., Clear, A., Chopra, S., Dilaver (2019) Co-Creating “Smart” Sustainable Food Futures with Urban Food Growers, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies - Transforming Communities (C&T 2019), New York, ACM.

Snyder, J., Dilaver, O., Stephenson, L., Mackie, J., Smith, S (2018) Agent-based modelling and construction – reconstructing antiquity’s largest infrastructure project, Construction Management and Economics Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 313–327.

Dilaver, Ozge (2015) From Participants to Agents: Grounded Simulation as a Mixed-Method Research Design, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18 (1) 15.

Dilaver, Ozge (2014) Involuntary Technology Adoption: How Consumer Interdependencies can Lead to Societal Change, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Volume 31, pp 138–148.

Dilaver, Ozge (2013) Making Sense of the Value of Innovations: A Comparison of Personal Computers and Mobile Phones, New Media and Society, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1214-1232.

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