Nicholas Lynch


  Department of Geography
  Memorial University of Newfoundland
  St. John's, NL
  A1B 3X9

Office: SN 2022
Tel: (709) 864-8413
Fax: (709) 864-3119


Sustainable Communities & Regions
Society, Knowledge & Values


Research webpage link:

I am an urban cultural geographer broadly interested in the social and cultural dynamics of the built environment. Much of my research over the last several years has explored the contexts and issues of closure and adaptive reuse of historic institutional buildings, like worship spaces and lighthouses. In this work, I am interested in finding out how social and cultural changes in the use and value of historic (and sometimes, heritage) buildings affect local communities, sense of place, and planning politics.

More recently, my research has increasingly explored the social and cultural aspects of the Circular Economy — a wide-ranging sustainability policy that has gained popularity throughout Europe and North America. In this work, I explore the impact of the Circular Economy on the building sectors, including new approaches to construction, renovation and demolition practices in cities across North America.


• BA (Queen’s University 2004) in Environmental Studies and Geography
• MA (University of Toronto 2005) in Geography
• PhD (University of British Columbia 2013) in Geography
• Post-Doctoral Research Associate (University of Oxford 2016)


Journal Articles

Lynch, N., and Greenough, B. 2024. After the Light: The Reuse and Replica of Canada’s Historic Lighthouses, International Journal of Heritage Studies,

Lynch, N. 2023. Borrowing Spaces: The Geographies of ‘Libraries of Things’ in the Canadian Sharing Economy, Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie,

Lynch, N. 2022. Unbuilding the city: Deconstruction and the circular economy in Vancouver, Environment and Planning A: Economy and

Lynch, N. 2021. Remaking the obsolete: Critical geographies of contemporary adaptive reuse, Geography Compass,

Costa, E. and Lynch, N. 2021. Sense of Place on the Periphery: Exploring the Spatial Practices of the Creative Class in St. John’s. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 30(2). 1-22.

Lynch, N., and LeDrew, R. 2020. Adaptations on the Edge: Post-secular placemaking and the adaptive reuse of worship space in Newfoundland, Social and Cultural Geography.   

Ley, D. and Lynch, N. 2020. The Social Geography of Uneven Incomes in Metropolitan Vancouver, in Grant, J et al., Changing Neighbourhoods: Social and Spatial Polarization in Canadian Cities. University of British Columbia Press.

Pottie-Sherman, Y. and Lynch, N., (2019) Gaming on the Edge: Mobile labour and global talent in Atlantic Canada’s video game industry, Canadian Geographer. DOI - 10.1111/cag.12522.

Sajid, Z. & N. Lynch. (2018) Financial modelling strategies for Social Life Cycle Assessment: A project appraisal of biodiesel production and sustainability in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, Sustainability, 10 (3289), 1-19.

Hobson, K., Lynch, N., Lilley, D., and Smalley, G. (2017) Systems of practice and the Circular Economy: Transforming mobile phone product service systems, Environmental Innovations and Societal Transitions, 26, 1-11.

Hobson, K. and Lynch, N. (2016) Diversifying and de-growing the Circular
Economy: Radical social transformation in a resource-scarce world.
Futures, 82, pp. 15-25.

Lynch, N. (2016) Domesticating the church: the reuse of urban churches as loft living in the post-secular city. Social & Cultural Geography: 1-22.

Hobson, K. and Lynch, N. (2015) Ecological modernization, techno-politics and social life cycle assessment: a view from human geography. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment: 1-8.

Lynch, N. (2014) Divine Living: branding and selling redundant churches in Toronto, Canada. Housing, Theory and Society, 31(2): 192-212.

Quastel, N., Moos, M. and Lynch, N. (2012) Sustainability as density and the return of the social: the case of Vancouver, British Columbia. Urban Geography, 33(7): 1055-1084.

Lynch, N. (2011) "Converting" Space in Toronto: The Adaptive Reuse of the Former Centennial Japanese United Church to the "Church Lofts". Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, 36(1): 65-76.

Book Chapters

Stephenson, B., and Lynch, N. 2024. Spaces of Alterity: Contemporary Geographies of Alternative Sacred Space, in Kong, L., Woods, O., and J. Tse (eds). Handbook of the Geographies of Religion, Springer International.  

Lynch, N., and Pottie-Sherman, Y. 2021 ‘Chapter 6: Spaces of Division: Gentrification, gated communities and beyond’, in Bain, A. and L. Peake, (eds.) Globalization in an Urban Context, 2nd Edition Oxford University Press: Toronto. 173-189. 

Ley, D., and Lynch, N. 2020. 'Socio-Spatial Income Polarisation in the Vancouver Metropolian Area, 1970-2010', in Grant, J., Walks, A., and Ramos, H., (eds.) Changing neighbourhoods: social and spatial polarisation in Canada's cities, UBC Press: Vancouver.

Lynch, N. and Pottie-Sherman, Y. (2019) Gentrification, gated communities and beyond. In, Bain, A. and Peake, L. (eds.) Globalization in an Urban Context. Oxford University Press: Toronto.

Lynch, N. and Ley, D. (2010) The changing meanings of urban places. In, Bunting, T., Filion, P. and Walker, S. (eds.) Canadian Cities in Transition: New Directions in the Twenty-First Century City, Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press: Toronto, pp. 325-341.


Ley, D. and Lynch, N. (2012) Divisions and disparities in Lotus Land: socio-spatial polarisation in Greater Vancouver, 1970-2005. Research Paper 223: Cities Centre University of Toronto.