Alumnus (Guest Researcher)

Dan Durrant is a Lecturer in Infrastructure Planning at University College London’s (UCL) Bartlett School of Planning (BSP) and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at IRI THEsys. Having completed doctoral research on a large controversial megaproject in the UK (HS2, a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham), he is studying another controversial megaproject, the Fehmarn Belt fixed link (between Germany and Denmark).  As with HS2 his focus is on the role of civil society. Dan is interested in the way civil society shapes the governance of these often very long term, expensive, disruptive sociotechnical projects dominated by state and market actors. Beyond the infrastructures themselves, he is interested in the spatial and societal visions that underpin and are often used to legitimate the spiralling costs and disruption caused by mega-infrastructure.

Dan’s wider interests include participation in infrastructure planning and the governance and financing of urban development. Whilst at UCL he was a Co-Investigator on the ORA-ESRC project ‘What is governed in cities?’ as part of a team with colleagues at the University of Amsterdam and Sciences Po. Prior to UCL he worked for Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing and Planning research and before he began his PhD at BSP’s OMEGA Centre for Mega Infrastructure and Development Dan had a number of professional roles in local economic development, the National Health Service and EEDA, one of the UKs Regional Economic Development Agencies. My Bachelor’s Degree was in Anthropology and he has since acquired an MA in Community Economic Development and an MSc in Spatial Planning as well as completing his doctorate in 2016.

“IRI THEsys offers a place to develop my ideas on the relationships between society and infrastructure and sharpen my methods for researching controversial megaprojects” – Dan Durrant

Research Interests

Urban Infrastructures and human-environment relations
  • The governance of infrastructure
  • Spatial planning
  • Participation in decision making
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