Cristian Silva


  • Room 03.019 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile


I received a degree in Architecture in 2001 (Chile), a MSc in Architecture in 2006 (P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile), and a PhD in Urban Studies in 2017 from the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL, UK)

Research Statement

Between 2005 and 2010 I developed research on urban informality, social housing and local development. However, since 2012 my research interests have been centred on the explorations of contemporary patterns of urban growth and change, urban sprawl and (post)suburbanisation, particularly focused on the implications of 'Interstitial Spaces' and their role in restructuring city-regions. I have been presenting and publishing my activities in Latin America, the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and disseminating my findings through academic journals and public reports. One of the papers that describes the outcomes of my PhD research and recent work was awarded the Urban Studies Best Article 2018: “Mind the gaps! A research agenda for urban interstices”, authored with Prof Nicholas Phelps.

Research Interests

I am interested in spatial planning and politics with international focus, more specifically in the following subjects:

  1. Urban Sprawl, peri-urbanisation, (post)suburban growth and/or decline,
  2. Emerging models of suburban regeneration and retrofit,
  3. Suburban infrastructure and transformations of fringe/belt areas of city-regions,
  4. Interstitial spaces, vacant lands, white spaces, boundary spaces and (post)suburban politics and planning.


I have been previously teaching and researching 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 in the areas of Independent Research and Spatial Planning focused on the institutional and policy context of planning practice in the UK.

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Research Output

  • 9 Article
  • 3 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
  • 1 Conference contribution

The interstitial spaces of urban sprawl: unpacking the marginal suburban geography of Santiago de Chile.

Silva, C., 2019, CREATIVE SPACES : Urban culture and marginality in Latin America. Geraghty, N. H. D. & Massidda, A. L. (eds.). Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, p. 55-84 29 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Open Access
  • Auckland’s Urban Sprawl, Policy Ambiguities and the Peri-Urbanisation to Pukekohe

    Silva, C., 21 Dec 2018, In : Urban Science. 3, 1, 20 p., 1.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 51 Downloads (Pure)

    Mind the gaps! A research agenda for urban interstices

    Silva, C. & Phelps, N., 26 Oct 2017, In : Urban Studies. 55, 6, p. 1203-1222

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    The infrastructural lands of urban sprawl: planning potentials and political perils

    Silva, C., 01 Jan 2017, In : Town Planning Review. 88, 2, p. 233-256

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    Urban Studies Best Article 2018

    Silva, Cristian (Recipient) & Nicholas Phelps (Recipient), 16 May 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    • 1 Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups
    • 1 Invited talk

    Roundtable on Urban Green Space

    Cristian Silva (Participant)

    19 Feb 2020

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Creative Spaces and Marginality in Latin America Seminar

    Cristian Silva (Invited speaker)

    01 Jun 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk