Professor Donald McNeill

Australian Research Council Future Fellow

Portrait photo of Professor Donald McNeill

Donald McNeill is Professor of Urban and Cultural Geography. His work is located at the intersection of human geography, economic sociology, spatial planning, and urban design and architecture, with a particular interest in the political and cultural economy of globalisation and cities. He was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2012-2016) in the field of Governing Digital Cities, and has been a chief investigator on three ARC Discovery grants and one ARC Linkage grant since 2007. He is currently working on a new Discovery project on Volumetric Urbanism. His completed ARC projects are The Production and Contestation of Airport Territory (2008-2010), Cool Living Heritage in Southeast Asia (2012-2015), and Sydney's Chinatown in the Asian century (2013-2016).

He joined Western Sydney University in 2007, having previously held faculty positions at King's College London, Southampton and Strathclyde. He currently holds a university position as theme champion for urban living and society, is a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts, and is chair of the Urban Studies Foundation.

He has published widely in human geography and urban studies, and his books include Global cities and urban theory (Sage, 2017), The global architect: firms, fame and urban form (Routledge, 2008), New Europe: imagined spaces (Arnold, 2004), and Urban change and the European left: tales from the New Barcelona (Routledge, 1999).


  • PhD, 1999, University of Wales, Cardiff
  • Masters in Civic Design, 1994, University of Liverpool
  • MA Hons. Politics, 1991, University of Glasgow

Awards and Recognition

  • 2011-13: Special Professor, School of Geography, University of Nottingham
  • 2010: Visiting Scholar, Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University
  • 2005: Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellow, National University of Singapore
  • 2002: Macquarie University Research Grant, Visiting Scholarship

Selected Publications

Anderson, K, Ang, I, del Bono, A, McNeill, D & Wong, A (in press) 2019, Chinatown unbound: trans-Asian urbanism in the age of China (opens in a new window), Rowman & Littlefield, London & New York.

McNeill, D 2017, Global cities and urban theory (opens in a new window), Sage, London.

Barns, S, Cosgrave, E, Acuto, M & McNeill, D 2017, 'Digital infrastructures and urban governance', (opens in a new window), Urban Policy and Research, Special issue on critical infrastructure, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 20-31, DOI:10.1080/08111146.2016.1235032.

McNeill, D 2017, ‘Start-ups and the entrepreneurial city’, City, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 232–239.

McNeill, D 2016, 'Governing a city of unicorns: technology capital and the urban politics of San Francisco', Urban Geography, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 494-513. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2016.1139868.

McNeill, D 2016, 'IBM and the visual formation of smart cities', in S Marvin, A Luque-Ayala & C McFarlane (eds), Smart urbanism: utopian vision or false dawn?, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 34-52.

McNeill, D 2015, 'The construction of architectural celebrity', in M Gravari-Barbas & C Renard-Delautre (eds), Starchitecture(s):figures d'architectes et espace urbain / Celebrity architects and urban space (opens in a new window), L'Harmattan, Paris.

McNeill, D 2015, 'Global firms and smart technologies: IBM and the reduction of cities' (opens in a new window), Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

McNeill, D 2015, 'Tracking the global urbanists' (opens in a new window), Global Networks, Special issue: transnational building practices: actors, trajectories and modes of knowledge mobility, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 379-84.

McNeill, D 2014, 'Airports and territorial restructuring: the case of Hong Kong' (opens in a new window), Urban Studies, vol. 51, no. 14, pp. 2996–3010.

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