Matthew Gandy

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Matthew Gandy, FBA (born 1965, London) is a geographer and urbanist. He is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography and Fellow of King's College at the University of Cambridge, moving from University College London (UCL) in 2015, where he was also Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory from 2005-11.


Gandy grew up in Islington, London.


His research on environmental history, urban infrastructure and visual culture has involved work in a variety of countries including France, Germany, Nigeria, India, the UK and the USA. In 2003 he was winner of the Spiro Kostof Prize of the Society of Architectural Historians for Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City as the book “within the last two years that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of urbanism and its relationship with architecture”.[1] In 2005 he set up the UCL Urban Laboratory as an international and interdisciplinary centre for urban research and teaching [2] and in 2006 he was a founder of the London-wide Urban Salon.[3] In 2007 he produced and directed a documentary film, Liquid City (2007),[4] which explores the complexity of water politics in Bombay/Mumbai. In 2015 his book "The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination" won the Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography and in 2016 it was awarded the International Planning History Society's prize for the "most innovative book in planning history". In 2016 he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.[5]

His current work explores three themes: urban metabolism (how cities function and the ecological dynamics of urban space); cyborg urbanization (how our bodies are connected to urban space); and cinematic landscapes (how cities and landscapes are represented in moving images).

He was also actively involved in local issues in Hackney, east London, writes regular reviews and commentaries for his blog Cosmopolis at, and is an urban field ecologist, specializing in entomology and has written a book on moths.[6]


He has over a hundred publications [7] in many international journals including Architectural Design, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, New Left Review and Society and Space. He is also author or editor of eight books.

Selected publications include:

  • Gandy, M. 1994. Recycling and the politics of urban waste. London: Earthscan.
  • Gandy, Matthew (2002). Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City. The Urban & Industrial Environment Series. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. 
  • Gandy, Matthew; Zumla, Alimuddin (eds.). The return of the white plague: global poverty and the 'new' tuberculosis. Verso. ISBN 9781859846698. 
  • Gandy, Matthew, ed. (2011). Urban constellations. jovis Verlag. ISBN 9783868591187. 
  • Gandy, Matthew; Nilsen, B.J., eds. (2014). The acoustic city. jovis Verlag. ISBN 9783868592719. 
  • Gandy, Matthew (2014). The Fabric of Space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. ISBN 9780262028257. 
  • Gandy, M. 2016. Moth. London: Reaktion Books.
Book chapters
  • Gandy, Matthew, "The cinematic void: the representation of desert space in Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point", in Lefebvre, Martin, Landscape and film, AFI Film Readers Series, London: Routledge, pp. 315–332, ISBN 9780415975551. 
  • Gandy, Matthew, "Landscape and infrastructure in the late-modern metropolis", in Bridge, Gary; Watson, Sophie, The new Blackwell companion to the city, Wiley Blackwell Companions to Geography Series, Malden, Massachusetts Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 57–65, ISBN 9781118655306. 
  • Gandy, Matthew, "The melancholy observer: landscape, neo-romanticism and the politics of documentary film making", in Praeger, Brad, Companion to Werner Herzog, Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors Series, Malden, Massachusetts Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 528–546, ISBN 9781405194402. 
Journal articles

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