Morgan Campbell

Morgan Campbell


I am a researcher and lecturer grounded in questions of process, transition and transformation of the urban—understood through the people, cultures, objects, infrastructures, economies, and environments existing within it. 

Trained in critical theory and cultural studies as well as urban planning and design I am transdisciplinary in nature. My methods and methodologies draw firmly upon critical urban geography, post-colonial/development theory, and women and gender studies. I often use Participatory Action-based Research to better reveal the micropolitics of everyday urban life, which becomes a basis for uncovering (and challenging) more macro processes of power claiming and technocratic rationality.  

My interest in sustainability is around understanding tensions of equity, justice and scale. My doctoral work looked at how transport policies, infrastructures, modes, and aspirations reproduced intersecting cultural norms of gender, class, and caste. It asked which bodies are ‘allowed’ mobility in India’s changing urban landscape and by what mode. Equally important, how and why capitalist labour systems are structured to facilitate mobility of some women’s bodies and immobility of others. Bengaluru and Delhi, India, were chosen for the significant physical and social changes that reflect realities of globalization, changing political ideologies, internal migration, and rapid urbanisation. These changes are embedded within slick metro systems, the millions of new car owners, company provided transport for employees of multinationals, and failing public bus systems. They are also transcribed onto the bodies of urban women in which a tension between mobility in a literal sense and immobility in respect to gender norms and socio-economic hierarchies constantly plays out.    

 Rooted in Right to the City activism, social exclusion research, and feminist epistemologies, the research was motivated by the complex reality that urban women do not constitute a cohesive ‘user’ category; policies that improve the mobility of one group often create or exacerbate socio-economic inequalities and sustainability broadly.  Ultimately, I see my research as iterative and complimentary through grounding in pedagogies of reflexivity and co-produced knowledge. By focusing on processes I try to gain new perspectives for students, practitioners, and academics, and ultimately, as grounds for a continuous engagement with urban social justice movements and change. 

Research interests

  • Transport equity and mobility justice 

  • Passengering and the future of public space/ public transport 

  • Labour, precarity and temporality—particularly transport-related gig work 

  • Gendered mobility | Cultures of mobility 

  • Automentality 

  • Challenging 'Expert' knowledge within policy and politics 

  • Representation of the city | Urban experience  

  • Postindustrial cities 

  • Qualitative Research Methodologies | Participatory Action-based Research 

Co-producing the Leeds Cycle network is a partnership between the University, Leeds City Council and delivery cyclists which aims to give voice to the everyday experiences of riders who move between road space, pedestrian space, and dedicated cycle lanes to pick up and deliver food within a set period. The project will establish and sustain a forum connecting the marginalised voices of riders to transport decision makers to reframe such experiences as forms of expert knowledge regarding road and pavement politics within the city and key issues regarding cycling safety and theft. The forum is an attempt at redistributing where the power of knowledge sits and thus supports participatory research’s endeavour to change a social reality through methods that invite people to voice and reflect upon their everyday experiences and practices.

From 2021-2023 I worked within the dynamic and diverse Inclusive Public Space project team. IPS is a cross-country/city investigation into the social justice problems caused by city streets which exclude some pedestrians – particularly pedestrians whose circumstances mean that they do not meet general expectations about mobility or ability. Particularly exciting was engaging with the use of video and film as a both a research method and tool for communicating findings.

Along with Greg Marsden, I am part of the e-drone project, focusing on understanding the potential governance implications of future logistic drone operations operating in shared airspace.

On a city level, Peter Hart, Laura Cunliffe and I, with support from Kate Cameron, are working in partnership with Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Sports Foundation and local organisations supporting young people to develop the Active Travel Toolkit to better understand how young people feel about active travel and the mobility barriers they face more broadly.

Along with Robin Lovelace and the Leeds Emergency Active Travel Group, I am looking at the impact of Active Travel Neighbourhood initiatives in Leeds and England and public reception to such initiatives more broadly.

Culture on your Doorstep is another local, Leeds-based project, initiated by Briony Thomas to boost place-based learning within the context of 15-minute neighbourhoods. This work engages local artists and is working with two primary schools to support curriculum development in response to the 2019 Ofsted framework requirement for schools to demonstrate how they develop the cultural capital of every child by focusing on places, cultures and knowledge held within communities. 

Partnerships for Social Justice was an initiative that brought together four equity-focused Networks that will collaborate to explore how to reduce inequalities through work with public services, community organisations and academics. 

Under Reform was a two-year project looking at transport reform in India from May 2018 to May 2020. Its aims were to develop cutting edge insights into how reforming transport governance works, and how best to generate more sustainable transport systems in Indian cities looking specifically at the Smart City Mission.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA, Kalamazoo College
  • MA Critical Theory & Cultural Studies, University of Nottingham
  • MUP, Hunter College
  • PhD Urban Planning & Public Policy, Rutgers University

Student education

I teach within SRI and the Sustainable Cities curriculum. I’m happy to supervise any students interested in any of the topics above.


Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Sustainability Research Institute