Professor Kathy Pain

Professor of Real Estate Development

Professor Kathy Pain

Professor Kathy Pain

Director of Research
Real Estate & Planning
HBS 220, Whiteknights campus
+44 (0) 118 378 8175
External website link



Kathy’s research focuses on sustainable global city development, governance and planning in the contemporary networked world economy. She is a Co-Director of the international Globalization & World Cities (GaWC) Network heading up Global City Planning,, a Fellow of the Young Foundation, London (, and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 'Vision for Cities' Global Sustainability Task Group ( Her research covers four interrelated theoretical-empirical strands: (i) urbanization, agglomeration and city integration in the networked world economy (ii) emergent functional and global urban location strategies of specialized international financial and linked business services networks; (iii) intersections between the global geographies of international financial services firms and real estate investment flows; (iv) global ‘mega-city region’ economic and spatial development, sustainability, governance and policy.

Kathy's research has informed academic and policy thinking on urban and regional development processes in the UK, Europe, North America, the United Arab Emirates and the Pacific Asia region, including: the UK Treasury Fourth Economic Test for entry to Economic Monetary Union on the financial services industry and City wholesale markets; South East England Statutory Regional Policy Guidance Review; Canada's Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative; Mega-City Region development of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) China; United States Regional Plan Association, US ‘Mega-Regions’ research; New South Wales, Australia, Department of State and Regional Development Planning for the Sydney global city-region; the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development on Abu Dhabi global city development and sustainability; strategy for the East Asian Pan-Yellow Sea Region (PYSR). 


  • Diploma in Town Planning, PhD (Reading)
  • Corporate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society / Institute of British Geographers


Globalization and urban economic growth; sustainable mega-city region development; urban and regional policy, planning and governance.

Selected Research Grants

Major EU awards: the UK-led 2003-06 INTERREG IIIB 2003-2006 North West Europe POLYNET: Sustainable Management of European Mega-City Regions study, co-directed with Professor Sir Peter Hall at the Young Foundation, London; the 2010-12 European Spatial Observation Network (ESPON) research, TIGER - Territorial Impact of Globalization for Europe and its Regions, (UK Principal Investigator).


View a full list of Professor Kathy Pain's Publications

Key Publications

Taylor, P. J., Hoyler, M., Pain, K. and Vinciguerra, S. Extensive and Intensive Globalizations: Explicating the Low Connectivity Puzzle of U.S. Cities using a City-Dyad Analysis. Journal of Urban Affairs, 2013, doi: 10.1111/juaf.12077

Pain, K. and Van Hamme, G. Changing Urban and Regional Relations in a Globalizing World: Europe as a Global Macro-Region, 2014, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

Lizieri, C. And Pain, K. International Office Investment in Global Cities: The Production of Financial Space and Systemic Risk, Regional Studies, published online 23 January, 2013.

Harrison, J. and Pain, K. Global Cities, Volume IV: Planning and Governance of Cities in Globalization, 2012, Routledge, London.

Pain, K. 'New Worlds' for 'Old'? Twenty-First-Century Century Gateways and Corridors: Reflections on a European spatial perspective, International Journal of Urban & Regional Research, 35(6), 2011, 1154-74.

Pain, K. Spaces of practice in advanced business services: rethinking London-Frankfurt relations", Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26(2), 2008, 264-279.

Hall, P. and Pain, K. (eds.), The Polycentric Metropolis: Learning from mega-city regions in Europe, Earthscan, London, 2006.