David Gibbs

Professor David Gibbs

Professor of Human Geography

Faculty of Science and Engineering


+44 (0) 1482 465330

David's key areas of expertise are in the field of local and regional development, with a particular focus on the intersection between economy and environment.

Current research involves studies of transition regions and the green economy. the impact of investment into Green Port Hull and green infrastructure in London and Shanghai.

In addition, David has expertise in the areas of green entrepreneurs and also circular economy initiatives.

A recent interest is in the development of 'experience landscapes' for leisure and tourism in rural areas, with a particular focus on mountain bike trail centres.


Research Interests

  • City-regions and sustainability
  • Low carbon and green economies
  • Green entrepreneurs
  • Green infrastructure and green buildings in urban areas
  • The circular economy
  • Experience landscapes and the outdoor experience economy

Research groups

Research collaborations with Dr Rob Krueger, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA; Professor Christian Schulz, Universite du Luxembourg; and Professor Yongli Cai, East China Normal University.


Gibbs D and O’Neill K, 'Rethinking Socio-Technical Transitions and Green Entrepreneurship: the Potential for Transformative Change in the Green Building Sector', Environment and Planning A, 46, pp 1088-1107 (2014)

Gibbs D and O’Neill K, 'Future Green Economies and Regional Development: a Research Agenda', Regional Studies, doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2016.1255719 (2016)

Krueger R, Gibbs D and Schulz C, 'Institutionalising Alternative Economic Spaces? An Interpretivist Perspective on Diverse Economies', Progress in Human Geography, DOI: 10.1177/0309132517694530 (2016)

O’Neill K and Gibbs D, 'Rethinking Green Entrepreneurship - Fluid Narratives of the Green Economy', Environment and Planning A, 48(9), pp 1727-1749 (2016)

While A, Jonas A and Gibbs D, 'From Sustainable Development to Carbon Control: Eco-State Restructuring and the Politics of Urban and Regional Development', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35(1), pp 76-93 (2010)

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Contemporary Research in Human Geography (PhD)

Research PhDs

Professor Gibbs welcomes applications in

  • Local and regional economic development
  • Low carbon and green economies
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Eco-industrial development, industrial ecology, circular economy
  • Green entrepreneurs

Completed PhDs

  • McEvoy D, Carbon Flows, Jobs and the Environment (2003)
  • Horrocks A, ESRC CASE: Environmental Issues and Food Sector SMEs in Yorkshire and the Humber (with the Environment Agency) (2004)
  • Collins P, The Information Society and Regional Development in Ireland (2004)
  • Proctor A, ESRC CASE: Sustainable Regional Development and Eco-industrial Development (with Yorkshire Forward) (2005)
  • Salgado J, Cross-Border Environmental Management in Mexico (2006)
  • Hewitson A, ESRC CASE: Transnational Governance and ICTS: The Telecities Network (with Hull City Council) (2007)
  • O'Neill K, ESRC CASE, Effective Policy Intervention in Establishing Sustainable Local Food Systems (with East Riding of Yorkshire Council) (2012)
  • Lewis C, ESRC CASE, The New Ecologies of Risk: Promoting Economic Development and the Management of Flood Risk in the Humber (with the Environment Agency) (2013)
  • Wang Q, The Cross-cultural Transfer of Eco-Industrial Development Strategies (China Scholarship Council) (2013)
  • Etriki J, Waste Management Strategies in Tripoli (Libyan Government) 2013)
  • Omar S, Sungai Lian Industrial Park: Can Brunei Achieve Sustainable Industrial Development? (Brunei Government) (2015)
  • Abdullah M A H, Analysis of the Suitability of the Socio-Technical Transition to the Development of Low Carbon Transportation in Brunei Darussalam (Brunei Government) (2015)

Current PhD supervisions

  • Cai W, Ecosystem Service Assessment and Valuation, Sustainable Strategies for Regional Cooperation Mechanism in China: a Case study of the Yangtze River Delta Region, China
  • Ramsden S, Big Lottery Fund, Shoots and Leaves: Exploring the Impact of Civil Society Sustainable Place-Making Projects Working in Deprived Urban Areas in the UK
  • Wright L, From the Ground up: Community Food Production Practices for Well-Being, Sustainability and Social Cohesion
  • Yang H, Analysis of the Evolutionary Development of Liquor Industry Clusters in China from the Perspective of Brands and Branding (China Scholarship Council)
  • Yu Z, Sustainability Transitions and Leapfrogging in Latecomer Cities: a Case of the Diffusion of Solar Thermal Energy in China (China Scholarship Council)


Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA Hons Geography, University of Manchester
  • PhD Geography, University of Manchester

External roles

Member of the editorial boards of Local Environment, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Awards and accolades

  • Back Award from the Royal Geographical Society for 'research that contributes to the development of environmental and economic policy', 2014
  • Award conferred of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, 201