Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography:,
Course Convenor, Human Geography (BSc) & Environmental Social Sciences (BA):,
Co-Director, Kent's Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS)
+44 (0)1227 816878
Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem


Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem is a human geographer and urban planner with research interests in urban studies, urban politics, and planning. He has particular specialism in social and spatial analysis, interdisciplinary methods, and climate change adaptation and mitigation research in cities.

Dr Rock Rokem’s overarching research agenda is committed to conceptualising a socio-spatial ontology that brings a new comparative perspective to human geography, urban studies and planning. He also investigates the deferential role of transport infrastructures as tools to govern social life in highly uneven and unequal settings.

Dr Rock Rokem publishes in international, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary scientific journals within the disciplines of geography, planning and urban studies, such as, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Political Geography, City, Geopolitics and Urban Studies.

Prior to joining the School in 2019, Jonathan taught at the Department of Geography, University College London (UCL) and held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Space Syntax Laboratory, UCL.

Previous to this, Dr Rock Rokem held a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden. His PhD was awarded in 2015 from the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University, Israel. Jonathan also holds a Master's degree in Cities Space and Society from the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  

Research interests

Dr Rock Rokem’s research addresses:
(i) Urban mobility and diversity
(ii) Comparative urbanism and planning
(iii) Urban geopolitics and migration 

Jonathan's overarching research objectives are threefold: firstly, from a theoretical perspective to advance the cross-disciplinary fields of urban studies and planning; secondly, to construct a multidisciplinary comparative research method to re-frame urban inequality as a dynamic and mobile process; and, thirdly, to create new modelling tools to enhance local communities’ and municipalities climate change adaption and mitigation strategies.

Dr Rock Rokem's research has informed public policy decision-making and contributed to novel spatial and social approaches in the development of public transport infrastructures and climate adaption and mitigation strategies in Europe the Middle East and further afield. 

Current research projects

PI - MAPURBAN: ‘Migrant Mobility and Access to Public Urban Resources’ (2021-22) University of Kent, UK, Funded by JPI Urban Europe, Urban Migration Call (European Commission Horizon 2020 & ESRC, UK) - €277,000.

MAPURBAN utilises interdisciplinary multinational research findings informing policy strategies towards urban migration, re-framing immigrant integration as a multi-scalar (national, urban and local) process that contributes to sustainable urban development. The project comprises a team of leading academics and a range of municipal and civil-society partners from the UK, Germany and Sweden.

For further details see: https://jpi-urbaneurope.eu/project/mapurban/

Completed projects

PI - Contested Urbanism (2015-17) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, University College London, UK, funded by European Commission, Horizon 2020, - €195,000.

PI - Contested Spaces in Swedish Cities (2013-14) EMAIL II Research Fellowship, Lund University, Sweden - funded by Erasmus Mundus EU Programme €18,000.

PI - Contrasting Jerusalem (2012-2013) Bettencourt Schueller and French Research Center Jerusalem Research Grant (CRFJ-CNRS), France - €12,000.


Dr Rock Rokem has extensive teaching experience of both undergraduate and postgraduate modules including development, mentoring and assessment. Jonathan teaches on the Human Geography BSc and BA Environmental Social Sciences; and convenes the following modules:

He also contributes to several other modules across the School.    


Dr Rock Rokem is interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of human geography, urban studies and planning, with a specific interest in contested space, migration, mobility, inequality and diversity.


Dr Rock Rokem is available to provide in-depth analysis and discussion of topics related to urban inequality, urban migration and global environmental inequalities, with specific expertise in the Middle East and Europe, particularly Sweden and Israel-Palestine where he has conducted extensive fieldwork.

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