• Room 03.019 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am willing to supervise PhD research on urban planning, urban design, planning policy, spatial planning, on issues around urban sprawl, (sub/rur/peri)urbansiation, density, urban interstices, vacant lands, white space, and/or (intra-urban)boundaries


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I received a degree in Architecture (2001, Chile), a MSc in Architecture (2006, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile), and a PhD in Urban Studies (2017, BSP, UCL).

Research Statement

My research profile lies in the intersections between urban design, urban planning, and social theory. I am focused on the (qualitative) analysis of places, cities, and the urbanisation process through the lenses of political ontology, structure and agency, intersubjectivity, planetary urbanisation, and the overall comparatives between comprehensive and strategic planning.

I am specifically interested in planning policy and extended suburbanisation, suburban coalescence, clustering, retrofitting and density, and the emergence of interstitial spaces. The last is framed within my research background on ‘urban interstices’: in-between spaces that lie between developments and which manifest at different scales within, between, and beyond the domain of cities. I argue that interstitial spaces help to divert the focus on urbanisation from its 'cityism', and expand the reflection around the urban as solely associated to cities and other forms of agglomeration. These insights have been extensively developed in my book “The Interstitial Spaces of Urban Sprawl: Geographies of Santiago de Chile’s Zwischenstadt (Routledge: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429320019) and other published articles. The one that describes the outcomes of my PhD research on interstitial spaces was awarded the Urban Studies Best Article 2018: “Mind the gaps! A research agenda for urban interstices” (https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098017732)authored with Prof Nicholas Phelps (University of Melbourne).

I am currently supervising PhD projects in urban design and planning policy, and developing research on Belfast’s interstitial spaces: peacelines, peacewalls, and the so-called 'interfaces'. 


I have been previously teaching in Chile, the UK, and New Zealand, with focus on planning policy, urban design theory, and contemporary planning and design practice. I am currently teaching research methods and ethics (EVP3011, Independent Research Project), urban design theory and morphological analysis (EVP7039, Spatial Literacy/ EVP3003, Planning Practice Study Visit), and planning and design for urban quality (EVP1001, Planning, Health and Wellbeing). Previously, I taught and coordinated EVP1014 (Institutional and Policy Context of Planning Practice).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Dive into the research topics where Cristian Silva is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or