Geography and Environment


Professor Katherine Gough PhD (University College London)

Photo of Professor Katherine Gough

Professor of Human Geography

Academic career

2015 onwards: Visiting Professor, Centre for Business and Development Studies, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
2012 onwards: Professor of Human Geography, Loughborough University.
2010-2012: Reader in Urban Geography, Loughborough University.
2007-2008: Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge and Sidney Sussex College.
1997-2010: Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Copenhagen.

Professional responsibilities

2011 onwards: Editor of International Development Planning Review (Editorial Board Member 2008-2011)
2010-2013: Associate Editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (Editorial Board Member 2008-2010)
2014 onwards: Member of Editorial Board of Ghana Journal of Geography
2011 onwards: International Advisory Board Member of Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
2011 onwards: Editorial Board Member of Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research

My research on urban issues in the global South cuts across the fields of social, economic and development geography, focusing on: housing and home; youth mobility and entrepreneurship; livelihoods; rural-urban dynamics; and urban governance and planning.

I have conducted research in a range of countries in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, though focus especially on Colombia and Ghana. I have a particular interest in conducting comparative research and longitudinal studies.

Ongoing and recent projects include:

  • ESRC/Colciencias project ‘Paz Alto Cauca’ which is exploring how the Colombian state’s presence is being constructed in three ‘post-conflict’ zones, with the aim of strengthening the capacity of local communities to successfully plan and develop their land in accordance with the Peace Agreement. I am PI for the UK team working with PI Irene Velez-Torres in Colombia.
  • British Academy GCRF project ‘Vulnerability to Extreme Weather Events in Cities’ (VEWEC), which is analysing how flooding and extreme heat impact on key services (water, electricity and health) and livelihoods in the cities of Accra and Tamale, Ghana. I am the PI leading teams from the UK and Ghana.
  • EU-FP7 project ‘African rural-city connections’ (RurbanAfrica). I led the work package 'City Dynamics', collaborating with researchers in Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Tanzania, Denmark, The Netherlands, France and UK.
  • Longitudinal study of housing and households in diverse low-income settlements in the city of Pereira, Colombia, analysing how the ‘self-help’ houses and the families living in them have changed over a 30 year period.
  • DANIDA project ‘Youth and employment: the role of entrepreneurship in African economies’ (YEMP) - on which I was the PI - which investigated young entrepreneurs in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. 

My teaching explores urban issues in the global South, cutting across the fields of social, economic and development geography.


Current postgraduate research students

  • Jedidah Tetteh: The relationship between income-generating activities and the health of women and children in urban Accra
  • Anthony Perrett: Sustainable energy and poverty reduction: the role of clean energy technologies in improving in low-income urban communities of Ghana

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Edith Basalirwa Mwebaza (2016) Perceived value of entrepreneurship education among University Graduates in Uganda.
  • Marshall Kala (2015) Entrepreneurship and poverty: the case of the youth in small-scale mining in Ghana
  • Moonga H. Mumba (2014) Informal networks and youth self-employment in Zambia
  • Agnes N. Nassuna (2014) The intrapreneurial environment and performance of microfinance institutions in Uganda.
  • Stefanie Gregorius (2014) Transitions to adulthood: the experiences of youth with disabilities in Accra, Ghana 
  • Irene Velez Torres (2014) Political geographies of displacement by dispossession in Colombia. The case of afrodescendant communities in the Alto Cauca  
  • Norah Penawou (2013) Children’s voices on the impacts of oil exploration activities: a case study on the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria 
  • Robert L. Afutu-Kotey (2013) Youth livelihoods and entrepreneurship in the mobile telephony sector in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area
  • Gough, K.V. and Langevang, T. (eds) 2016 Young entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, London and New York, Routledge. Open Access available at:
  • Gough, K.V. 2018 Doing longitudinal urban research, in Harrison, J. and Hoyler, M (eds) Doing global urban research, Sage, London
  • Yankson, K.V., Gough, K.V., Esson, J. and Amankwaa, E.F. 2017 Spatial and social transformations in a secondary city: the role of mobility in Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, Geografisk Tidskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, 117(2): 82-92
  • Afutu-Kotey, R.L., Gough, K.V. and Yankson, P.W.K. 2017 Transitions to adulthood among young entrepreneurs in the informal mobile telephony sector in Accra, Ghana, Geoforum 85: 290-298
  • Esson, J., Gough, K.V., Simon, D., Amankwaa, E., Ninot, O. and Yankson, P.W.K. 2016 Livelihoods in motion: linking transport, mobility and income-generating activities in Accra, Journal of Transport Geography, 55: 182-188
  • Gough, K.V., Chigunta, F. and Langevang, T. 2016 Expanding the scales and domains of insecurity: youth employment in urban Zambia, Environment and Planning A, 48(2): 348-366
  • Langevang, T., Gough, K.V., Yankson, P., Owusu, G. and Osei, G. 2015 Bounded entrepreneurial vitality: the mixed embeddedness of female entrepreneurshipEconomic Geography, 9(4): 449-473
  • Gough, K.V., Langevang T., Owusu, G. 2013 Youth employment in a globalising world, Special issue of International Development Planning Review, 35(2): 91-102