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Researching the City

Researching the City
A Guide for Students

Second Edition
Edited by:

January 2020 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This practical guide for students focuses on the city and on the different ways to research it. The authors explain how urban studies research is done, from the original idea to design and implementation, through to writing up and representation. Substantive chapters explain each method in detail, from using archival methods, interviews, ethnography, questionnaires, discourse analysis and diaries, to using GIS and visual methods. 

This second edition offers:

·            A thorough introduction to the research process  

·            Revised and updated discussions of foundational methods

·            A new chapter on sensory methods  

·            A new chapter on social media as an object or a method of studying the city.


With real world examples throughout and guided further reading for each chapter, it is an inspiring guide for students carrying out their own research in urban geography, urban planning, urban sociology and urban studies.


1 Introduction by Kevin Ward
2 Designing an urban research project by Kevin Ward
3 Archival research by Stephen V. Ward
4 Interviews by Allan Cochrane
5 Urban ethnographic research by Kate Swanson
6 Using questionnaires to survey hidden populations by Nik Theodore
7 Discourse and linguistic analysis by Annette Hastings
8 Using diaries to study urban worlds by Alan Latham
9 GIS: a method and practice by Matthew Wilson
10 Worlds through glass: photography and video as geographic method by Bradley L. Garrett
11 Researching urban life through social media by Susan Moore and Scott Rodgers
12 Mapping the urban experience digitally by Monica Degen and Manuela Barz
13 Writing up by Kevin Ward

My copy of Researching the City is well worn and rarely sits still. As with all of the most valuable texts for teaching, it shuttles frequently between a shelf in my office and the hands of urban geography students who find it to be a highly accessible and useful guide.

Dr Tim Bunnell, Professor of Geography, National University of Singapore

Dr Tim Bunnell
Professor of Geography, National University of Singapore

This refreshingly honest and accessible book about the messiness of doing research is a boon for undergraduate students; a diving board into the urban, it propels students to explore a variety of methods to answer their research questions. Such a resource, updated and expanded, is a very welcome addition to the urban geographer’s library.

Professor Linda Peake is Director of the City Institute at York University, Toronto, Canada.

Professor Linda Peake
Director of the City Institute at York University, Toronto, Canada.