Academic profile

Dr Stefania Fiorentino's research focuses on the intersection of urban planning and local economic development to identify more inclusive and innovative regeneration strategies. Stefania’s research is highly impact-driven and directly engages with policymakers. 

She looks at urban and regional transformations and the way economic shifts produce changes in the demand, supply, and experience of spaces; recent research projects include work on the business and governance of densification strategies, the evolution of working spaces, industrial clusters and the geography of innovation, the regeneration of coastal towns and planning for regional inequalities. 

Stefania is also a fellow of Downing College (Cambridge), and an honorary lecturer at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL). 

Before coming to Cambridge in 2020, she extensively lectured and led research on different topics cutting across the fields of urban planning, economic geography, and urban regeneration between the Bartlett (UCL) and London South Bank University (LSBU). She holds a PhD in Planning Studies from the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL). 

Her work has been published in several leading international journals and media outlets. She serves on several editorial boards, including the Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, and the Journal of Property Investment and Finance. She is an active member of several learned societies and she currently sits on the board of the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and regularly acts as a blind reviewer for international academic journals and grant funders. 

Given the international and comparative nature of her research, she is regularly invited to deliver guest lectures, keynotes, and research visits (e.g., University of Toronto, Politecnico di Milano, Chinese University of Hong Kong, etc.).

Before becoming an academic, Dr Stefania Fiorentino trained as a chartered engineer and she has worked in international consultancies across Italy, France and the UK with leading expertise in the fields of real estate, urban planning and economic development. As an academic she keeps contributing to consultancy, thought leadership, and influencing policy-making, acting as an external expert for bodies like the EU Commission or the House of Lords. 




Tripos in Land Economy

Paper 14: Planning policy and practice (module coordinator and convenor)

MPhil in Planning Growth and Urban Regeneration

PGR01: Urban and Environmental Planning

PGR02: Urban and Housing Policy

DRDS: Dissertation, Research Design and Structure (session on qualitative research methods)

Stefania is accepting applications for PhD students under her supervision.


Research interests


Dr Stefania Fiorentino’s research focuses on urban and regional transformations. She investigates the way major economic shifts and external disruptions have impact on the demand for and the use of space, and the public policy that we need to foster more inclusive and resilient regeneration strategies.

Dr Stefania Fiorentino holds a PhD in Planning Studies from the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL) where she has investigated the new geography of innovation in Italy, including the underlining socio-economic dynamics and the governance implications of the new workspaces and entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

Her interdisciplinary research experience includes projects on regional inequalities, the geography of innovation, urban agglomeration and densification strategies, and more recently the impacts of grand challenges like Covid-19 and climate change on different global cities and coastal regions. All her projects are aimed at formulating recommendations for future public policies that can address the multiple grand challenges of our time. She does that by disentangling the link between the governance, the spatial and socio-economic constraints, and the emerging environmental challenges offered to local and regional development processes.

She has a great expertise of both the UK and other international planning systems, and of international comparative planning and local economic development policy and practices.

For the nature of her research, she directly engages with policy makers, and she is regularly consulted by a variety of other governmental bodies and think-tanks, including the European Union (EU) Commission.



Journal Articles:

  • Fiorentino, S., Glasmeier, A. K., Lobao, L., Martin, R., and Tyler, P. (2023) ‘Left behind places’: what are they and why do they matter?, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society,
  • Fiorentino, S., Sielker, F., and Tomaney, J. (2023) Coastal towns as ‘left-behind places’: economy, environment and planning, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society,
  • Fiorentino, S. (2023) Public-led shared workspaces and the intangible factors of urban regeneration in UK coastal towns, Urban, Planning and Transport Research, 11:1, DOI: 10.1080/21650020.2023.2260853
  • Livingstone N., Fiorentino S., and Short M. (2023) Density, planning, and the emergent landscapes of purpose-built student accommodation in England, Frontiers in Sustainable Cities,5,
  • Fiorentino, S., Livingstone, N., McAllister, P., and Cooke H. (2022) The future of the corporate office? Emerging trends in the post-Covid city, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 15(3),
  • Cooke, H., Fiorentino, S., Harris, R., Livingstone, N., Mc Allister, P., (2022) “Flexible offices and real estate trends at the aftermath of Covid-19.” Journal of Property Investment and Finance, 40(5), 493-507.
  • Fiorentino, S. and Bartolucci S. (2021) Blockchain-based smart contracts as new governance tools for the sharing economy, Cities, 117, 103325, ISSN 0264-2751,
  • Livingstone, N. Fiorentino, S. Short, M. (2021) Planning for residential ‘value’? London’s densification policies and impacts, Building and Cities, 2(1), 203–219. DOI:
  • Fiorentino, S., Livingstone, N. & Short, M. (2020), Financialisation and urban densification: London and Manchester’s niche student housing markets, Regions, 7, DOI: 10.1080/13673882.2020.00001079
  • Fiorentino, S. (2019) Different typologies of co-working spaces and the contemporary dynamics of local economic development in Rome, European Planning Studies, 27 (9), 1768– 1790, DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1620697
  • Fiorentino, S. (2019) The Maker Movement and the new urban entrepreneurial ecosystems. A case study of Rome’, Local Economy, 34(4), 364-381, DOI: 10.1177/0269094219854999
  • Fiorentino, S. (2018) Re-making urban economic geography. Start-ups, entrepreneurial support and the Makers Movement. A critical assessment of policy mobility in Rome, Geoforum, 93, 116­–119, DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.05.016
  • Fiorentino, S. (2018) Co-Working Spaces as a tool for place-based policies. Planning for regeneration and the new perspectives for economic development in Rome. Regions (3), DOI:10.1080/13673882.2018.00001030


Book chapters:

  • Short, M., Fiorentino, S. and Livingstone, N.  (2022) Building denser, building taller: explorations in place-making in London. In: Al-Kodmany, K., Du, P. and Ali, M. (Eds.) Sustainable High-Rise Buildings: Design, Technology, and Innovation. Institute of Engineering and Technology: Chicago, IL. ISBN-13: 978-1-83953-280-1; DOI: 10.1049/PBBE003E
  • Fiorentino, S. and Livingstone N. (2021) Contemporary Co-working in Capital Cities: Evolving geographies of workspace innovation in London and Rome, in “Shared Workplaces in the Knowledge Economy: Will Proximity still Matter?” edited by Di Vita, S., Mariotti, I, Akhavan M. Springer. ISBN:9783030634438.

Book Reviews:

  • Fiorentino, S. (2019) Startup cities: Why only a few cities dominate the global startup scene and what the rest should do about it, Regional Studies, 54(2), 280–281, DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1672938


  • Livingstone N., Short M., Fiorentino S., and Bunce S. (2023) Density, sustainability and the governance of urban futures. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 5,
  • Fiorentino, S., Glasmeier, A., Lobao, L., Martin, R. and Tyler, P. (forthcoming) Cambridge Journal of Regions Economy and Society, guest editorial for special issue on “Left Behind Places and What Can Be Done About Them”.
  • Gabrielli, L. and Fiorentino, S. (2022) “Co-working spaces after Covid-19. The differences between sharing office spaces in urban cores and peripheral locations.” Journal of Property Investment and Finance, 40 (5), 445-447. [Guest editor for special issue on “Co-working and the Sharing Economy”].
  • Since 2020 I regularly publish editorials for Regions as part of the editorial board duties. The online journal publishes 3 themed issues per year. Co-editors are Oliveira, E. and Bowen, R. ( ).

Policy Papers & Briefings

  • Fiorentino, S. (2022), New investment models for urban innovation ecosystems, Fazio, A., Kert, K. and Shamuilia, S. editor(s), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2022, ISBN 978-92-76-57694-5, doi:10.2760/49669, JRC131007.
  • (2022) “Making Space: Accommodating London’s industrial future”, Centre for London, (as a member of the Industrial Land Commission), available at:
  • (2021) “A manifesto for affordable workspaces as a new type of social infrastructure.” Policy briefing paper commissioned by JUSTspace network. The paper led to policy suggestions included in: JustSpace (2022) Just Space Community-Led Recovery Plan policy 41 to 44, pp. 51-52. Available at:


urban planning

urban regeneration

public policy

economic geography

local economic development

urban and regional transformations