Professor Gary Bridge
Professor of Human Geography
I am an urban social geographer with research interests in urban and social theory and social change in cities. I am exploring the contemporary relevance of philosophical pragmatism for current social theory, research and practice in urban studies, geography and the social sciences more generally. Key parts of that research agenda have been to rethink the city and democracy through renewed ideas of rationality, embodiment and action. My research on social change in cities has focused on processes of neighbourhood change and especially gentrification. I have looked at the relationships between class, space and forms of economic, social and cultural capital in studies in various cities including London, Bristol, Sydney, Montreal and Paris.
I joined the School of Geography and Planning in 2015 and was previously Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Bristol.
Previous Research Projects
2010-2013: The Middle Classes and the City: social mix or 'just people like us': A comparison of Paris and London. (Principal Investigator (UK team), ESRC and ANR £1m). Comparative study of social and political engagements of middle classes in 5 Parisian and 5 London neighbourhoods (gentrified not socially mixed; gentrifying socially mixed, suburban; exurban and gated). Comprised 400 in depth interviews with residents and key informants across the neighbourhoods.
2012: School choice and social class: a comparison of France and England (RA support) funded by the ESRC Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Bristol (£50,000)
2010-2011: The theoretical basis of school choice (with Deborah Wilson) (ESRC Centre for Markets and Public Organisation - £45,000)
2007-8: Gentrification and social mix in Bristol, Paris and Montreal (co-applicant with Sciences Po in Paris and University of Quebec) funded by the Canadian Social Sciences Research Council ($Ca 75000)
2001-2003: Housing, taste and place: the housing histories of gentrifiers (Principal Investigator, ESRC R000 23 9056 £55,000). This research investigated the movement of gentrifiers through the housing system to test the degree of durability of the gentrification aesthetic as a class phenomenon.
2001-2005: Core Researcher (20 percent of time over 4 years) ESRC funded Centre for Neighbourhood Research (with University of Glasgow) £400,000. Part of the ESRC network on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice.
1993/94: R Forrest, A Murie, D Hawes, G Bridge, G Smart: Leaseholders and Service Charges in Former Local Authority Flats (funded by the Department of the Environment) £120,000. I undertook household-based in-depth interviews with leaseholders in negative equity in several London boroughs.
1992/93: M Boddy, G Bridge, P Burton, M Stewart Socio-demographic change in the inner city (Department of the Environment £120,000). Assessment of current trends to interpret likely situation of Britain's inner cities over the next 30 years.
1992/93: with P Williams (University of Cardiff): Cardiff City into Europe: consultancy project to assess the potential impacts of the EU convergence on Cardiff's housing services. Interpretation of secondary data ( Cardiff City Council).