Recent Publications


Paul Knox    London: Architecture, Building, and Social Change, Merrell, London, 2015 

london cover thumbnail   London has grown organically, around twin cores: the commercial centre around the City of London and the institutional centre in Westminster. Within and around these cores, distinctive districts have developed, each with a distinctive built environment that reflects its changing mix of functions and populations as well as more general changes in building technologies, architectural tastes, and London’s economy. This project documents the social and architectural histories of 30 of London’s districts.

Paul Knox (Ed.),    Atlas of Cities, Princeton University Press, 2014

More than half the world’s population lives in cities, and that proportion is expected to rise to three-quarters by 2050. Urbanization is a global phenomenon, but the way cities are developing, the experience of city life, and the atlas thumbnailprospects for the future of cities vary widely from region to region. The Atlas of Cities presents a unique taxonomy of cities that looks at different aspects of their physical, economic, social, and political structures; their interactions with each other and with their hinterlands; the challenges and opportunities they present; and where cities might be going in the future.

Paul Knox,    Palimpsests: Biographies of 50 City Districts, Birkhäuser, Basel, 2012

Every city has its own internal geography that is expressed in a mosaic of districts, each with its own history and character. Successive chapters in a district’s history leave their mark in the layout of its streets, thePalimpsests Coverfabric of its buildings, the nature of its institutions, and the cultural legacies of its residents. The landscapes of city districts are thus layered repositories of changing ideals in architecture, urban design, and planning, of changing opportunities in real estate development, and of the changing tastes and values of consumers. This book traces the development of 50 city districts: seminal and iconic districts as well as lesser-known, representative districts of particular kinds. Together, they illustrate the great variety and fascinating complexity of cities and their districts.


Paul Knox, John Agnew and Linda McCarthy, The Geography of the World EconomyRoutledge, 2014

Provides an in-depth introduction to  the globalization of the world economy. The book offers a consideration of local, GWE thumbnailregional, national and international development over the long historical term. The theory and practice of economic and political geography provide a basis for understanding the interactions within and among the developed and developing countries of the world.

Paul Knox and Linda McCarthy, Urbanization, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2011


Urbanization is one of the most important phenomena in today’s world. The proportion of the world’s population living in urban settlements is growing at a rapid rate, and the world’s economic, social, cultural, and political processes are increasingly being played out within and between the world’s networks of towns and cities. From small market towns and fishing ports to megacities of millions of people, the urban areas of the world are the linchpins of economies and societies. Although they often pose social and environmental problems, towns and cities are essential elements in human economic and social organization. They are centers of cultural innovation, social transformation, and political change. They can also be engines of economic development. This book takes a dynamic approach to the study of urban geography, unraveling the interlocking processes of urbanization to present a vivid and meaningful explanation of constantly changing urban geographies and urban life.

Paul Knox and Sallie Marston, Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context (6th edition), Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2011

A nation, like a person, has a mind—a mind that must be kept informed and alert, that must know itself, that understands the hopes and needs of its neighbors—all the other nations that live within the narrowing circle of the world.

Franklin Roosevelt, Third Inaugural Address, Monday, January 20, 1941

Human Geography

Most people have an understanding of what their own lives are like and know a good deal about their own neighborhood and perhaps even something of the larger city and state in which they live. Yet, even as the countries and regions of the world become more interconnected, most of us still know very little about the lives of people on the other side of our country, or in other societies, or about the ways in which the lives of those people connect to our own. In order to change the world, to make it a better place for all people, we need to understand not just our little corner of it, but the whole of it—the broad sweep of human geography that constitutes the larger world of which our small corners are just a part. This book provides an introduction to human geography that will help young men and women to understand critically the world in which they live. To study human geography, to put it simply, is to study the dynamic and complex relationships between peoples and the worlds they inhabit. Our book gives students the basic geographical tools and concepts needed to understand the complexity of places and regions and to appreciate the interconnections between their own lives and those of people in different parts of the world—to make the world a better place.



        German translation 2009

Paul Knox,   Cities and Design, Routledge, London, 2010

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Cities, initially a product of the manufacturing era, have been thoroughly remade in the image of consumer society. Competitive spending among affluent households has intensified the importance of style and design at every scale and design

professions have grown in size and importance, reflecting distinctive geographies and locating disproportionately in cities most intimately connected with global systems of key business services. Meanwhile, many observers still believe good design can make positive contributions to people’s lives. Cities and Design explores the complex relationships between design and urban environments. It traces the intellectual roots of urban design, presents a critical appraisal of the imprint and effectiveness of design professions in shaping urban environments, examines the role of design in the material culture of contemporary cities, and explores the complex linkages among designers, producers and distributors in contemporary cities: for example fashion and graphic design in New York; architecture, fashion and publishing in London; furniture, industrial design, interior design and fashion in Milan; haute couture in Paris; and so on. This book offers a distinctive social science perspective on the economic and cultural context of design in contemporary cities, presenting cities themselves as settings for design, design services and the ‘affect’ associated with design.

 chinese edition C&D

Chinese translation 2013

Paul Knox and Steven Pinch,   Urban Social Geography (6th edition), Pearson, London, 2010


Why do city populations get sifted out according to race and social class to produce distinctive neighbourhoods? What are the processes responsible for this sifting? Are there any other characteristics by which individuals and households become physically segregated within the city? How does a person’s area of residence affect his or her behaviour? How do people choose where to live, and what are the constraints on their choices? What groups, if any, are able to manipulate the ‘geography’ of the city, and to whose advantage? These are some of the key questions that we examine in this book.


Japanese translation 2013


Korean translation  2012


Greek translation 2009

Sallie Marston, Paul Knox, Diana Liverman, Paul Robbins and Vincent Del Casino,     World Regional Geography: Peoples, Places, and Environments (5th edition), Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2011

world regionsIn order to change the world, to make it a better place in which to live for all people, we need to understand not just our little corner of it, but the whole of it, the broad sweep of global geography that constitutes the larger world of which our small corners are just a part. World Regions in Global Context aims to provide an introduction to today’s global geography set in the context of world regions. This goal is ambitious because our ability to trace the world’s complex geographies in such a relatively short volume is impossible. That said, this textbook sheds some light on the dynamic and complex relationships between people and the worlds they inhabit. This book gives students the basic geographical tools and concepts needed to understand the complexity of today’s global geography and the world regions that make up that geography, while asking students to appreciate the interconnections between their own lives and those of people in different parts of the world.



Paul Knox and Heike Mayer,  Small Town Sustainability, (2nd edition) Birkhäuser, Basel, 2013

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Small towns can be extraordinary places – towns that have their own identity and a sociable and enjoyable way of life for their inhabitants. They can be towns where pedestrians can stroll untroubled by roaring traffic and car alarms – towns with abundant green spaces in which people can breathe clean air. Their municipal councils can insist upon renewable energy and recycling. They can encourage and promote local arts and crafts, traditional eating establishments that serve local cuisine and shops that sell local produce. They can be havens in a fast world, places whose inhabitants think globally but act locally.  Yet globalization undermines the distinctiveness of many smaller urban places and threatens their vitality and culture. This book illustrates responses to the challenges of the fast-paced, globalised world, highlighting movements, programs and policies that support local cultures and traditions, conviviality and hospitality, sense of place and sustainability.


Paul Knox,   Metroburbia USA, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 2008

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Decades of economic prosperity in the United States have redefined the American dream. This book explores how extreme versions of this dream have changed the American landscape. Increased wealth has led America’s metropolitan areas to develop into vast sprawling regions of ‘metroburbia’—fragmented mixtures of employment and residential settings, combining urban and suburban characteristics.  Upper-middle-class Americans are moving into larger homes in greater numbers, which leads to an exploration of the relationship between built form and material culture in contemporary society. The book covers changes in home design, real estate, the work of developers, and the changing wishes of consumers. It shows that contemporary suburban landscapes are a product of consumer demand, combined with the logic of real estate development, mediated by design and policy professionals and institutions of governance. Suburban landscapes not only echo the fortunes of successive generations of inhabitants, they also reflect the country’s changing core values. Through the inclusion of examples and photos, Metroburbia, USA creates an accessible portrait of today’s suburbs supported by data, anecdotes, and social theory. It is a broad interpretation of the American metropolitan form that looks carefully at the different influences that contribute to where and how we live today.


Articles and Book Chapters

Paul  Knox, ‘Starchitects, Starchitecture, and the Symbolic Capital of World Cities,’ pp. 469-483 in Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor, and Frank Witlox (eds) International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities, London: Edward Elgar, 2011, pp. 469-483.

Paul Knox “Extraordinary Cities: World Cities in Global Networks,” in Companion to Human Geography, Edited by J.A. Agnew and J.S. Duncan. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011, pp. 325-335.

Paul L. Knox, Gabor Demszky and Elizabeth Vines, ‘Balancing Continuity and Change’, Conservation Perspectives, Getty Conservation Institute, Fall 2011, pp. 18-23.

Paul Knox and Heike Mayer, ‘Europe’s internal periphery. Small towns in the context of reflexive polycentricity’, in The Cultural Political Economy of Small Cities, Bas van Heur and Anne Lorentzen (eds.), London: Routledge, 2011, pp. 142-157.

Elisabeth Chaves, Paul Knox, and David Bieri, ‘The Restless Landscapes of Metroburbia’, in D. Phelps (ed.) International Perspectives on Suburbanization. A Post-Suburban World?, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp. 35-53.

Paul Knox and Kathy Pain, ‘International Homogeneity in Architecture and Urban Development’, Informationen zur Raumentwicklung, 5/6, 2010.

Heike Mayer and Paul L. Knox, ‘Small town sustainability: prospects in the second Modernity’, European Planning Journal, 18 (10) 2010, 1545-1565.

Paul Knox and Lisa Schweitzer, ‘Design Determinism, Post-Meltdown: Urban Planners and the Search for Policy Relevance’, Housing Policy Debate, 20 (2) 2010, 317-327.

Paul Knox and R. Lang, ‘The New Metropolis: Rethinking Megalopolis’. Regional Studies, 43, 2009, 789-802.

Heike Mayer and Paul Knox, ‘Cittaslow: Ein Programm für nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung’. In H. Popp and G. Obermaier, Raumstrukturen und aktuelle Entwicklungsprozesse in Deutschland, Bayreuth, 2009, pp. 115-129.

Paul Knox, ‘Urbanization’. In Kitchin R, Thrift, N. (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 1, pp. 112-118. Oxford: Elsevier, 2009.