GEORGIANA VARNA  
space shaper, place maker, policy advisor

I am an urban thinker, working on improving the urban environment somewhere in between Geography, Urban Design, Urban Planning and Architecture. My research is fundamentally defined by my passion for understanding and improving the relationship between People and Space. 

I have obtained my PhD at the University of Glasgow, Scotland in the field of urban studies, under the supervision of the late Steve Tiesdell and David Adams. My work so far looked in particular at new public spaces created on post-industrial regenerated waterfronts, mainly in Northern European countries, such as the UK and Finland. My PhD was undertaken at the University of Glasgow, between 2008 - 2011, under the supervision of the late Dr Steve Tiesdell (in attached photo, in Tallinn, Estonia 2010) and Prof David Adams.


​I strongly believe in the impact of academic research and I will always try to help translate academic knowledge into policy and action in the hope that there will be more place making and less place breaking in 21st century cities. I take every opportunity to appear on TV and write in the media, and for examples of this, please check the Media page.
I greatly enjoy collaborating with other academics, and much of my work has been created by bouncing ideas with clever people, often at conferences and workshops. Key conferences I attended and I have participated in:

  • UK – Ireland Planning Research Conference, Cardiff, 2016;
  • AAG Annual Conference, Chicago, 2015; Tampa, 2014;
  • AESOP Annual Congress, Prague, 2015; Ankara, 2012 and Helsinki, 2010;
  • Urban Futures - Squaring Circles: Europe, China and the World in 2050, Lisbon 2014;
  • RGS-IGB Conference, London, UK, 2014;
  • EURA Conference, Vienna, Austria, 2012;
  • U21 Sustainable Cities Conference, Melbourne & Brisbane, Australia, 2009;
  • AESOP – ACSP Joint Congress, Chicago, 2008.
 
I am an active member of the AESOP Public Spaces and Urban Cultures Research Group, a network of talented researchers from various academic and cultural backgrounds with an interest in creating more liveable and vibrant cities. We organise meetings and brainstorming events, such as the Becoming Local series symposium that took place in Glasgow, in 2015  Becoming Local Glasgow: The Power of Places and The Places of Power.   (for more info, please check the Events page).  I am also a memeber of the SPIN unit and in the process of collaborating with several Finnish experts towards a Finnish urbanism think tank. For more infomation, please visit www.spinunit.eu.