Dr Liam Heaphy

Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
Tel: +353 (0)1 708 6187
Email: liam.heaphy@mu.ie
Twitter: @heaphyliam

Liam Heaphy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth University, working on the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. He has a background in social sciences, with an interest in science and technology studies, architecture and history, and languages.

His research is on the relationship between urban science and urban form. His recent case study work has been on the formation of a smart city strategy for Dublin, the recruitment of the Dublin Docklands as a smart district, and the Real-Time Passenger Information rollout in Dublin and across the country.

Prior to this, Liam worked at the médialab of Sciences Po, Paris, as a ‘pedagogic engineer’ and researcher, and has also worked and studied at the University of Manchester, where his thesis looked at climate change adaptation in relation to urban climatology from a social sciences perspective, examining urban modelling practices and the relationship between science and policy in the cities of London and Manchester.

Liam has also studied and worked at the Instituto de Estudios de la Ciencia y la Tecnología at the University of Salamanca, and completed his BA in Spanish and Philosophy (First Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. In addition to his academic work, he has been employed in the private sector for many years in the IT industry.

Research Interests

His research interests are broad but largely focussed on the relationship between epistemology and practice, looking at how knowledge is generated and evaluated in relation to given goals, be they curiorisity-driven or policy-oriented or combining elements of both. In the Programmable City, he is looking at the relationship between ICT infrastructure and urban practices, such as how smart city technologies reshape decision-making systems such as environmental management and environmental sensing, and the exploration of how spatial planning processes and urban place-making is being altered through digital infrastructure and geographical information systems.

Google Scholar


Coletta, Claudio, Heaphy, Liam, Perng, Sung-Yueh, & Waller, Laurie (2018). Data-driven Cities? Digital Urbanism and its Proxies: Introduction. TECNOSCIENZA: Italian Journal of Science & Technology Studies, 8(2), 5–18.

Heaphy, Liam (2018). Interfaces and divisions in the Dublin Docklands “Smart District.” SocArXiv. URL: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/z2afc/

Coletta, Claudio, Heaphy, Liam, & Kitchin, Rob (2017). From the accidental to articulated smart city: The creation and work of ‘Smart Dublin.’ URL: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/93ga5/download?format=pdf

Kitchin, Rob, Coletta, Claudio, Evans, Leighton, Heaphy, Liam, & MacDonncha, Darach (2017). Smart cities, epistemic communities, advocacy coalitions and the “last mile” problem. It – Information Technology, 0(0).

Heaphy, Liam James (2017). The challenges of aligning the scales of urban climate science and climate policy in London and Manchester. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.

Heaphy, Liam James (2015). The role of climate models in adaptation decision-making: the case of the UK climate projections 2009. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 5(2), 233–257.

Heaphy, Liam James (2014). Modelling and Translating Future Urban Climate for Policy (Doctoral Thesis). University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. URL: https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/uk-ac-man-scw:230607

Yaneva, Albena, & Heaphy, Liam (2012). Urban controversies and the making of the social. Arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 16(01), 29–36.

Heaphy, Liam James (2009). Conocimiento, cultura y la dimensión social. Revista Laguna, (24), 119–138.


“Aligning the scales of urban climatology and climate policy: case studies from London and Manchester”, UK-Irl Planning – Transcending Boundaries: Global Flows and Spatial Justice” – Belfast, 12th September 2017

“Interface points and divisions in a smart urban district in the Dublin Docklands” – Nordic Geographers Conference, Stockholm, 20th June 2017.

“Articulating the smart city and the turn towards smart urbanism in Dublin”, AAG 2017 – Boston, 5th April 2017.

Heaphy, Liam, and Réka Pétercsák. 2016. “Building Smart City Partnerships in the ‘Silicon Docks.’” In Creating Smart Cities. Maynooth University, Ireland. http://progcity.maynoothuniversity.ie/2016/11/creating-smart-cities-workshop-videos-session-4/.

“The choreography of people and code in the city through Real-Time Passenger Information and traffic control systems”, EASST 2016 – Barcelona 1st September 2016.

“When is a Climate Tool? On the Integration of Urban Climate Research Outputs into Policy”. Invited seminar at the Sustainable Research Institute, University of Leeds, 4 Mar 2015.

“Translating Global Climate Models for Local Policy-Making”. Presentation at the EASST/4S 2012 Conference, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, 20 Oct 2012.
“Reducing Climate Change Impacts through Urban Design in UK Cities”. Presentation at the 7th International Conference on Urban Climates, University College Dublin, 10 Aug 2012.

“The translation of climate data for decision-making at spatial scales useful for city planners”. Presentation at UK IRL Planning conference, Brighton University, 13 Apr 2012.

“Climate models and urban climate: addressing issues of scale in modelling future city climates”. Presentation at the Croucher Advanced Study Institute 2011: Urban Climatology for Tropical and Sub-Tropical Regions, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 9 Dec 2011.

“Albert Einstein and Practical Approaches to Epistemology”. Presentation at the British Society for the History of Science Postgraduate Conference, University of Manchester, 4 Jan 2011.

“Mapping Controversies in Architecture”. Invited lecture on innovations we have made in mapping architectural controversies at Sint-Lucas Architectuur, Brussels, Belgium, 11 Oct 2010.

“Science Society Interfaces – Characterising Uncertainties for Policy-makers in the IPCC Summary Reports”. Presentation at the postgraduate Seminar at CRASSH Conference – “Challenging Models in the Face of Uncertainty”, Cambridge University, 28 Sep 2010.

“Mapping Architectural Controversies: An Enquiry on the Aesthetics of Matters of Concern” with Albena Yaneva and Nick Dunn. Joint presentation at the RGS-IBG Conference, 29 Aug 2009.

“Representing the Tree of Life in the Digital Domain”. Presentation at the Darwin bicentenary conference “La idea de evolución. 150 años después de Darwin” [“The Idea of Evolution. 150 Years after Darwin”], Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, 18 Jun 2009.

“The communication of certainty concerning human-induced climate change”. Presentation at 4S/EASST 2009, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 23 Aug 2008.