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Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics


Professor Silva is a British-Portuguese dual citizen and she has a research track record of 25+ years, both at the public and private sector and specialized in spatial analysis and planning.   Prof.  Silva started working in Cambridge, at the Department of Land Economy, as a University Lecturer - Assistant Professor (2006-2012), was Tenured (2009), Senior Lecturer - Associate Professor (2012-2017), Reader-Professor in Spatial Planning (2017-2020), Full Professor (from October 2020).

She was the first Female to be promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor in the Department's history.

She lectures and is the course coordinator of: in "Urban and Environmental Planning I" (PGR01) and "Spatial Analysis and Modelling" (RM03); she was the Director of the PhD Programme (2008-2015);  until 2021 she was the  Director of the M.Phil  "Planning Growth and Regeneration".

Prof. Silva is the Director of the Lab of Interdisciplinary Spatial Analysis  (LISA Lab):

Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute :

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences :

Data Champion


Editorial Board member:

Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS)

Planning Theory & Practice 

Sustainable Development


Prof. Silva research interests are centred on the application of new technologies to spatial planning in particular city and metropolitan dynamic modelling through time. Subject areas include:  Land Use, Transportation, Spatial Analysis, Data Science & Big Data, Complexity Theory, Smart/Digital Cities, Geographic Information Systems and Planning Support Systems; Space-time dynamic models, Computation and Dynamic Simulation - soft Artificial Intelligence, AI Models (particularly ABM and CA models). 

‪Elisabete A. Silva‬ - ‪Google Scholar‬

Current Research Associates and Ph.D. students: Dr. José Pedro Reis,  Mr. Haifeng Niu,  Miss Yiqiao Chen, Mr. Stephen Ajadi, Ms. Ica Fernandez, Ms Ana Paula Seraphim, Mr. Aviral Marwal.


Key publications: 


  • 2010 A Planner’s Encounter with Complexity, (with G. de Roo) Ashgate Publishers Ltd, Aldershot (UK). 337 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4094-0265-7. 
  • 2003 1st Conference of the Land Management Engineering: Plan-Change-Manage (With J. Ferreira, JB e Silva, E.A. Silva and  J. M. Esteves) (in Portuguese) . Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) & Núcleo de Estudos dos alunos de Território (NET), Lisboa. 43 pages ISBN: 972-8152-76-0




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Professor - Spatial Planning
Director of the Lab of Interdisciplinary Spatial Analysis (LISA Lab)
Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Elisabete A Silva

Contact Details

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Person keywords: 
Public Policy