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Associate Professor in Urban Economic Development, UCL

Dr Jung Won Sonn is associate professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, which he joined in 2006. Before that, he taught in the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE. He also held part-time posts at Jungbu University in South Korea, at the Korean Research Institute for Local Administration, at the Korean Appraisal Research Institute and at the Southern California Association of Governments. He also had visiting posts at Institute of Policy and Management (Beijing), Chinese Academy of Science and Department of Geography at Seoul National University. He received his Ph.D. degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and his MSc. and BSc. degrees from Seoul National University.

Dr. Sonn's research is focused on two themes in urban and regional economic development: 1) the urban and regional dimension of technological knowledge production and 2) political analysis of regional economic planning. The geographical focuses of his research are the U.S., South Korea and China. Funded projects include temporal changes of localised knowledge spillovers in the U.S. (funded by the Benjamin Stevens Fellowship of North American Association of Regional Science), the emergence of a metropolitan knowledge cluster (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), a comparative study of innovative capacities between the Seoul metropolitan area and the Southeast region (funded by the Asian Institute for Regional Innovation), creative centres as a new orthodoxy in Chinese urban development (funded by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Localised knowledge spillovers and regional absorptive capacity (funded by European Commission through Marie Curie Fellowship).


  • 2019–present
    Associate Professor, University College London