Richard Kingston


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Planning Support Systems and GIS

Personal profile


I am Professor of Urban Planning and GISc, Director of the NERC Digital Solutions Programme and Deputy Director of the Spatial Policy Analysis Lab. A large part of my current role is leading NERC's 5 year Digital Solutions Programme which is investing £8m in the development of an online platform and set of toolkits that will exploit environmental and other data to create innovative digital services that deliver economic, societal and environmental benefits across the UK. You can find further information on that here

I joined the University in September 2003 and was previously a research associate at the Centre for Computational Geography, School of Geography, University of Leeds where I developed PPGIS methods and applications. I have worked in planning practice for Leicestershire County Council and a number of planning consultancies before focusing on an academic career.

Head over to my PPGIS research site for the latest information.

My virtual office hours (for UoM students)

Please contact me via email to arrange a suitable time.

Research interests

My research focuses on the role of ICTs in supporting all forms of the planning and development process. I research and develop participatory decision support solutions with the aim of enhancing stakeholder involvement and participation in spatial decision making. My research bring together three areas of work:

  • Public Participation GIS
  • Planning Support Systems
  • Spatial Analysis and Data Science

Full details here:

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI)
  • Town & Country Planning Association
  • Urban & Regional Information Systems Association
  • Manchester Data Science Management Board

Further information

Contact details:


I also run the Urban-Regional-Planning JISCM@il list which anyone can join.


My group

Potential students

I am interested to hear from potential PhD students wishing to undertake research focused on Planning Support Systems, PPGIS and Smart Cities.

You can contact me ( but I would also recommend viewing my research based web site @ and reading this page.

Current PhD students

  1. Eman Abouziyan. Mapping the spatial and socio-technical dynamics of the food-energy-water nexus: Evidence from Greater Cairo Region.
  2. Christopher Marsland. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS): Analyzing activity-travel behavior and its application to on-demand multi-modal mobility solutions in cities.
  3. Thomas Harris. Constructing a Model for Smart City Strategy Building in Latin American Cities.
  4. Fatimah Alturfi. Towards Smart and Sustainable Urban Futures: Developing a Framework to Assess the Urban Sustainability Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles and Associated Mobility Services.
  5. Abdulrahman Al Mottahar. Autonomous Vehicle Assessment of its Supporting Ecosystem and The Process of Developing a Regulatory Framework.


I lead the following modules:

  • PLAN40812-60812 - Neighbourhood Planning

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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Participatory Mapping

2021 → …

Associate Editor for Regional Studies, Regional Science, Regional Studies Association

1 Aug 202031 Jul 2023

Managing Director, Tellus Toolkit Limited

1 Aug 2015 → …

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Urban Planning

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute
  • Healthier Futures


  • Planning Support Systems
  • Geographic Information Science (GISc)
  • Smart Cities
  • Spatial Analysis


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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