Professor Donald McNeill

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).

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PhD, 1999, University of Wales, Cardiff

Masters in Civic Design, 1994, University of Liverpool

MA Hons. Politics, 1991, University of Glasgow

Honours and Awards

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

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2017-2019: McNeill, D & Marvin, S, 'Volumetric Urbanism', Australian Research Council Discovery Project, $403,500.

2012-16: McNeill, D 'Governing digital cities', Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, $834,770.

2012-15: Ang, I, McNeill, D & Anderson, K 'Sydney's Chinatown in the Asian Century: from ethnic enclave to global hub', Australian Research Council Linkage Project, $254,553.

2012-14: Winter, T, McNeill, D, Widodo, J & Chang, J 'Cool living heritage in Southeast Asia: sustainable alternatives to air-conditioned cities', Australian Research Council Discovery Project, $195,000.

2008-10: McNeill, D 'The production and contestation of airport territory', Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, $185,000.

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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.

Latham, A, McCormack, D, McNamara, K & McNeill, D 2009, Key concepts in urban geography, Sage, London.

McNeill, D 2008, The global architect: firms, fame and urban form, Routledge, New York.

McNeill, D 2004, New Europe: imagined spaces, Arnold, London.

McNeill, D 1999, Urban change and the European left: tales from the New Barcelona, Routledge, London.

Book Chapters

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 2013, 'Mayors and the representation of urban politics', in M Davidson & D Martin (eds), Urban Politics: Critical Approaches, UK, pp. 100-11.

McNeill, D 2011, 'Airports, territoriality, and urban governance', in E McCann & K Ward (eds), Mobile urbanism: cities and policymaking in the global age, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis and London, pp. 147-66.

McNeill, D & McNamara, K 2010, 'The cultural economy of the boutique hotel: the case of the Schrager and W Hotels in New York', in MK Goodman, D Goodman & M Redclift (eds), Consuming space: placing consumption in perspective, Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 147-60.

McNeill, D & Tewdwr-Jones, M 2010, 'Michael Dear', in P Hubbard & R Kitchin (eds), Key thinkers on space and place, Sage, London, pp. 134-40.

McNeill, D 2010, 'Mike Davis', in P Hubbard & R Kitchin (eds), Key thinkers on space and place, Sage, London, pp. 127-33.

McNeill, D 2008, 'Policy and politics', in T Hall, P Hubbard & JR Short (eds), The Sage companion to the city, Sage, London, pp. 285-300.

McNeill, D 2007, 'Hotel Barcelona', in YP Producciones (eds), Producta50, YProductions, Barcelona, pp. 144-55.

McNeill, D 2004, 'Caput Mundi? St Peter's and the deterritorialised church', in D Arnold & A Ballantyne (eds), Architecture as Experience: Radical Change in Spatial Practice, Routledge, New York, pp 134-52.

Edited Collections

McNeill, D 2009, Major works – urban studies (vol. 3, Life and Culture of Cities), Sage, London.

Selected Journal Papers

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 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.

McNeill, D 2014, 'Book review. Andy Merrifield, The new urban question.' (opens in a new window), Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.

McNeill, D 2014, 'Sydney's Chinatown/Chinese cities', Journal of Urban Cultural Studies, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 489-94.

Davidson, M & McNeill, D 2012, 'The redevelopment of Olympic sites: examining the legacy of Sydney Olympic Park', Urban Studies, vol. 49, no. 8, pp. 1625-41.

McNamara, K & McNeill, D 2012, 'The life and death of great hotels: modernity, disrepair and demolition in Sydney's "The Australia"', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 149-63.

McNamara, K & McNeill, D 2012, 'The city personified: the geopolitical narratives of Rudy Giuliani', Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 259-78.

McNeill, D 2011, 'Fine grain, global city: Jan Gehl, public space and commercial culture in central Sydney', Journal of Urban Design, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 161-78.

Faulconbridge, J & McNeill, D 2010, 'Geographies of space design', Environment and Planning A, vol. 42, no. 12, pp. 2820-23.

McNeill, D 2010, 'Behind the "Heathrow hassle": a political and cultural economy of the privatized airport', Environment and Planning A, vol. 42, no. 12, pp. 2859-73.

McNeill, D 2009, 'The airport hotel as business space', Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography, vol. 91, no. 3, pp. 219-28.

McNeill, D & Mcnamara, K 2009, 'Hotels as civic landmarks, hotels as assets: the case of Sydney's Hilton,' Australian Geographer, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 369-86.

McNeill, D 2008, 'Eurotrip', Journal of Geography in Higher Education, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 358-59.

McNeill, D 2008, 'The politics of architecture in Barcelona/Les politiques d'arquitectura a Barcelona', Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia, vol. 61, no. 62, pp. 157-76.

McNeill, D 2008, 'The hotel and the city', Progress in Human Geography, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. pp. 383-98.

McNeill, D 2007, 'Office buildings and the signature architect: Piano and Foster in Sydney', Environment and Planning A, no. 39, pp. 487-501.

McNeill, D 2006, 'Europe and the globalized city: the case of London', Comparative European Politics, pp. 218-34.

McNeill, D 2006, 'Performing European space', European Urban and Regional Studies, pp. 83-87.

McNeill, D 2006, 'Globalization and the ethics of architectural design', City: Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 49-58.

McNeill, D 2005, 'In search of the global architect: the case of Norman Foster (and Partners)', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 501-15.

McNeill, D 2005, 'Skyscraper geography', Progress in Human Geography, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 41-55.

McNeill, D, Dowling, R& Fagan, R 2005, 'Sydney/global/city: an exploration', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 935-44.

McNeill, D & Tewdwr-Jones, M 2004, 'Architecture, banal nationalism and re-territorialization', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 738-43.

McNeill, D 2003, 'Rome, global city? Church, state and the jubilee 2000', Political Geography, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 535-56.

McNeill, D, 2003, 'Mapping the European left: the Barcelona experience', Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, vol. 35, no. 1, pp 74-94.

McNeill, D 2001, 'Barcelona as imagined community: Pasqual Maragall's spaces of engagement', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 340-52.

McNeill, D 2000, 'McGuggenisation: globalisation and national identity in the Basque country', Political Geography, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 473-94.


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