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Harry Odell


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Current Project

Understanding the construction of metropolitan areas through data analytics: the case of GMCA

Metropolitan areas are functional structures that arise from the interactions of multiple agents, from institutions to businesses and individual citizens. These interactions occur under a set of different agendas that combine the agents’ behaviours with the policy frameworks in which they operate. Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is a new institutional setting with devolved powers and political representation that is the result of decades of combined policies and actions by the ten local authorities and responds to the observable functional economic and social structures within Greater Manchester.

The research aims to develop tools for simulating the functioning of Greater Manchester in terms of its main institutional and economical agents, exploring the complex system and the way the GMCA can respond and deliver policy to promote development. The research will use datasets from multiple domains and levels of analyses, e.g. the institutional framework, the economic development, accessibility and demography. We will incorporate complexity theory concepts to describe and simulate the behaviour of the agents in negotiating their agendas in the context of the design of development policies or infrastructure programmes and also in the construction of the GMCA institutional context.

New data analytics methods will be developed to explore the existing datasets and to create a combined dataset that can be used by a simulation model. These models are expected to be used in policy design and evaluation. Both the input datasets and outputs generated by the models should be designed to be easily integrated in a common data infrastructure that facilitates the use of both data and models in planning processes.




I received an honours degree in Mathematics from Saint Francis College Brooklyn (2016) and a masters degree in Modelling for Science and Engineering (Specialization in Data Science) from Autonomous University of Barcelona (2017). I then spent a year working for Ordnance Survey, and their startup accelerator Geovation Hub, as a Graduate Data Scientist. I am currently enrolled in an integrated PhD and Msc programme through the Data Analytics and Society Centre for Doctoral Training.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth


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