Vanesa Castán

Lead Co-Investigator WP1
City Knowledge

Urban Institute,
University of Sheffield 

Back to team 

I co-lead KNOW Work Package 1, Knowledge
Co-Production, with Cassidy Johnson.
I am a Professorial Fellow at the University of Sheffield, where I am based at the Urban Institute.


I work in three research areas: climate change governance in cities, the social and material impacts of urban sustainability transitions, and the potential for delivering emancipatory forms of planning for sustainability. I approach knowledge co-production as both a research topic and a style of research. I work with interdisciplinary teams and I love writing. Some of my recent publications include the books Urban Sustainability Transitions (2017, Routledge) and the Routledge Research Companion to Energy Geographies (2017, Routledge).


I was born in Jaca, a small town in the Spanish Pyrenees. I have a very large family and I live in Hertfordshire with my partner and my daughter. I studied natural resource management and engineering in the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid where, towards the end of my studies, I realised that the a foundation in engineering and ecology was not sufficient to understand the social and political dynamics underlying environmental problems. This moment marked the most radical and important decision in my career: to adopt a critical social science perspective.


I went on to study a postgraduate degree in environmental sociology in Wageningen University and later a doctorate looking at the sociology of environmental engineering in the University of Surrey. Since then I have worked to understand the dynamics of environmental injustices in urban environments, with a particular interest on debates around climate change and sustainability innovation. I worked at the University of Durham and UCL before joining the University of Sheffield in September 2017.

KNOW Links & Resources 


Copyright © 2019 - Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) | London

  • @UrbanKnow
  • @Urban_Know
  • UrbanKnowBlog
  • @UrbanKnow
  • @Urban_Know
  • Urban Know Blog
  • UrbanKnow Vimeo