John Rennie Short

Photo of John Rennie Short sitting in his office. There are bookshelves behind him.




Professor Emeritus, Public Policy

UMBC news


Research Interests
Geopolitics, urban issues, environmental concerns and cartographic representations

In the News

Video: John Rennie Short talks about hosting the Olympic Games on NBC

John Rennie Short writes for The Conversation about why some cities will survive, and even thrive, the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Rennie Short is featured on a podcast about radical proposals for hosting the Olympic Games.

Ph.D., University of Bristol
M.A., Geography, University of Aberdeen

Select Recent Publications

The Urban Now: Living in an Age of Urban Globalism. Edward Elgar. (2023)

The Rise and Fall of the National Atlas in the Twentieth Century. Anthem Press. (2022) Cambridge University Press Online:

“A flawed democracy.” The Cambridge Journal of Law, Politics and Art 2: 272-277. (2022)

“Geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine.” Transatlantic Policy Quarterly Summer: 47-56 (2022)

“Cities after COVID.” The Philosopher’s Magazine. 97: 54-63. (2022)

“The informal city: exploring the variety of the street vending economy.” Sustainability (with Lina Martinez) (2022)

“Contesting place names: The East Sea/Sea of Japan.” Geography Review (with Leah Dubots) (2022)

“Cities and climate change.” Earth 2:1038-1045 (with Abbey Farmer). (2021)

“Social inclusion in cities.” Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. 3: 684572 (2021)

“The pandemic city: urban issues in the time of COVID-19.” Sustainability (with Lina Martinez). 13, 3295. (2021)

Geopolitics: Making Sense of A Changing World. Rowman and Littlefield. (2021)

Stress Testing The USA (2nd ed) Palgrave Macmillan. (2021)

“Life satisfaction in the city.” Scienze Regionali (with Lina Martinez) (2020)

“Contesting place names: The East Sea/Sea of Japan.” Geography Review (with Leah Dubots) (2020)

“The urban effects of the emerging middle class in the Global South.” Geography Compass (with Lina Martinez) (2020)

World Regional Geography. Oxford University Press. (2019)

“A fragile hold on consumption: consumption and the new middle class in Colombia.” Review of European Studies 33: 73-83 (with Lina Martinez and Maria Isabel Zafra). (2019)

“What do global metrics tell us about the world?” Social Sciences 8, 136 (with Justin Velez-Hagan and Leah Dubots) (2019)

A Regional Geography of the United States and Canada: Toward A Sustainable Future. Rowman and Littlefield (Co-authored with Lisa Benton-Short and Chris Mayda). (2018)

The Unequal City: Urban Resurgence, Displacement and the Making of Inequality in Global Cities. Routledge (2018)

Hosting the Olympic Games: The Real Costs for Cities. Routledge. (2018)

“The diversity of street vending: A case study of street vending in Cali.” Cities 79: 18-25 (with Lina Martinez and Daniela Estrada). (2018)

“Global Cities.” The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography. DOI: 10.1002/9781118786352.wbieg0330 (2018)

“The urban informal economy: street vendors in Cali, Colombia”. Cities 66: 34-43 (with Lina Martinez and Daniela Estrada) (2017)

“Urban Imaginaries of City and Nature. International Handbook of Cities and The Environment” (eds) K. Archer and K. Bezdecny. Elgar. (2016)

“A perfect storm: climate change, the power grid and regulatory regime change after network failure.” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. 34: 244-261. (2016)

Experience and Honors

  • Fulbright scholar
  • Professor and Chair, Geography and Environmental Systems, UMBC
  • Professor of Geography, Maxwell School of Public Affairs and Citizenship, Syracuse University
  • Helen and John S. Best Fellowship. American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • The Leverhulme Visiting Professorship to UK, Loughborough University
  • Alexander O. Vietor Fellowship in Cartography, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript, Library, Yale University

Return to faculty page