Gemma John

Gemma John is an Honorary Research Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University College of London, and the Founder of Human City. She works at the intersection between social anthropology, urban governance and design, illuminating the ways in which planners, property developers, architects and other built environment experts negotiate legal and political infrastructures while creating places that deliver value to society and reflect imaginaries of the “good life.” Her interest in the politics of value, and the interplay between economy, morality and design, stems from her post-doctoral research on devolved governance in the UK through the Localism Act, and doctoral research on Freedom of Information legislation and transparent citizenships in Scotland. As an academic, she has published on new knowledge practices, government bureaucracy, and personhood. As a consultant, she uncovers the relationships between technical, material and social factors in urban contexts and enables organizations to design spaces that are morally and socially sustainable.