Rachel Macrorie

Dr Rachel Macrorie PhD

Research Associate


Rachel Macrorie joined the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University as a postdoctoral Research Associate having previously held research and teaching contracts at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and The Urban Institute (University of Sheffield). She is an urban and environmental geographer specialising in the governance and politics of just urban transformations to decarbonised economies and societies across a range of sectors, infrastructures and geographies.


Rachel's research conceptualises and analyses the governance and politics of just urban transformations in a changing climatic world.

In relation to this urgent challenge, her work investigates: urban political decision-making, partnerships and planning processes; material/power relations and assemblages; labour, knowledge and skills implications through the supply chain; types of policy/practice innovation, experimentation and scaling; as well as implications for domestic practices and everyday consumption.

Having previously worked as an international industrial environmental consultant, Rachel's sectoral expertise spans the built environment, energy, heat and water services, and digital, automated and robotic infrastructures, across multi-scalar geographies of the UK and Europe.

Rachel's current research, as part of the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre (SYSC), investigates what a just transition to a net zero economy would look like for South Yorkshire's symbolic industries. She leads a work area investigating the governance implications of housing energy efficiency retrofit and heating decarbonisation for net zero.

She co-leads the Urban Working Group of the Earth System Governance network and co-organises the People, Policy and Place annual conference.

She previously lectured in Urban Policies and Planning, and Urban Infrastructures at Utrecht University (The Netherlands), and supervised Masters dissertations in the Spatial Planning Department.

Research interests

  • governance of urban sustainability transformations
  • just transitions - labour, skills and (re)training - in the net zero transition
  • political economy of place-based sociotechnical infrastructural change
  • feminist economic geographies and alternative economies
  • smart & platform urbanism, urban automation and robotics
  • everyday (un)sustainable consumption practices


College of Social Sciences and Arts


2023-2024 Just Retrofit! Governance of housing retrofit for a just decarbonised regional economy, Sheffield Hallam University. Role: Project Manager.

2023-2024 Building pathways to an inclusive skilled labour force to decarbonise existing UK homes: Shared insights from across Britain and leading EU Member States, Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Centre. Role: Project Manager.

2022-2026 South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre, Research England. Role: Member of research team.


Journal articles

Chitewere, T., Cornea, N., Lockyer, J., Macrorie, R., Malý Blažek, J., Nelson, A., & Pickerill, J. (2023). Urban ecological futures: Five eco-community strategies for more sustainable and equitable cities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. http://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.13209

Macrorie, R., Marvin, S., Smith, A., & While, A. (2023). A Common Management Framework for European Smart Cities? The Case of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities Six Nations Forum. Journal of Urban Technology, 30 (3), 63-80. http://doi.org/10.1080/10630732.2022.2121558

Ahmed, N., Baker, A.G., Bhattacharya, A., Cawood, S., Cabrera Pacheco, A.J., Daniel, M.M., ... Westman, L. (2022). Redefining the role of urban studies early career academics in the post-COVID-19 university. City, 26 (4), 562-586. http://doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2022.2091826

Westman, L., Patterson, J., Macrorie, R., Orr, C.J., Ashcraft, C.M., Castán Broto, V., ... Webb, R. (2022). Compound urban crises. Ambio, 51 (6), 1402-1415. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-021-01697-6

Monstadt, J., Colen Ladeia Torrens, J., Jain, M., Macrorie, R.M., & Smith, S.R. (2022). Rethinking the governance of urban infrastructural transformations: a synthesis of emerging approaches. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 55, 101157. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2022.101157

Macrorie, R., Marvin, S., & While, A. (2021). Robotics and automation in the city: a research agenda. Urban Geography, 42 (2), 197-217. http://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2019.1698868

Fields, D., Bissell, D., & Macrorie, R. (2020). Platform methods: studying platform urbanism outside the black box. Urban Geography, 41 (3), 462-468. http://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2020.1730642

de Hoop, E., van Oers, L., Becker, S., Macrorie, R., Spath, P., Astola, M., & Boon, W. (2019). Smart as a Global Vision? Exploring Smart in Local District Development Projects. Architecture and Culture, 7 (3), 437-455. http://doi.org/10.1080/20507828.2019.1637067

Macrorie, R., & Marvin, S. (2019). Bifurcated urban integration: The selective dis- and re-assembly of infrastructures. Urban Studies, 56 (11), 2207-2224. http://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018812728

Foulds, C., Robison, R.A.V., & Macrorie, R. (2017). Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool. Energy Policy, 104, 194-202. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.01.055

Sharp, L., Macrorie, R., & Turner, A. (2015). Resource efficiency and the imagined public: Insights from cultural theory. Global Environmental Change, 34, 196-206. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.07.001

Book chapters

Papin, M., Westman, L., Macrorie, R., Shoaib Azizi, A., Dede, M., Greenwalt, J., ... Summers, B. (2023). Compound urban crises in global environmental politics. In Global Environmental Politics in a Turbulent Era. (pp. 62-74). Edward Elgar Publishing: http://doi.org/10.4337/9781802207149.00012

Macrorie, R., Foulds, C., & Hargreaves, T. (2014). Governing and governed by practices: Exploring interventions in low-carbon housing policy and practice. In Social Practices, Intervention and Sustainability: Beyond Behaviour Change. (pp. 95-111). http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315816494


Marvin, S., While, A., Kovacic, M., Lockhart, A., & Macrorie, R. (n.d.). Urban robotics and automation: critical challenges, international experiments and transferable lessons for the UK. EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network. http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.16976.56321

Marvin, S., While, A., Kovacic, M., Lockhart, A., & Macrorie, R. (n.d.). Urban robotics and automation: critical challenges, international experiments and transferable lessons for the UK. EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network. http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.16976.56321

Other activities

Co-leader of the Urban Working Group of the Earth System Governance network

Co-organiser of People, Policy and Place annual conference

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