Dr Aidan While: Recent research projects

New economic spaces and the territorial politics of collective provision

Working with Professors Andy Jonas and David Gibbs at the University of Hull, this ongoing set of projects explore the strategic challenges for governments in planning for high-growth new economic spaces in different national and urban contexts. Funded projects include:

Planning for New Economic Spaces in Asia (Nuffield Foundation)

Understanding the growth dynamics of new economic spaces: the role of a politics of collective provision (British Academy)

State structures and planning for growth in the Munich and Stockholm city-regions (University of Sheffield research funding)

Outputs from the projects include:

While A Gibbs DC Jonas AEG (2011) varieties of spatial regulation and the politics of growth facilitation in Munich, Stockholm and Cambridge (UK) – draft paper available from author

Jonas, A.E.G., While, A. and Gibbs, D.C. (2010) Managing infrastructural and service demands in new economic spaces: the new territorial politics of collective provision, Regional Studies 44, 183-200.

While A., Jonas A.E.G., Gibbs D.C. (2004) 'Unblocking the city? Growth pressures, collective provision and the search for new spaces of governance in Cambridge, England' Environment and Planning A, 36 (2) 279 – 304

The Governance and Regulation of Local Environmental Policy-Making

Research findings from an earlier ESRC project on the Governance and Regulation of Local Environmental Policy-Making undertaken the University of Hull are available at:


My current work in this area continues to trace the trajectories of urban environmental governance in the UK, focusing increasingly on the politics of low-carbon regulation.

Local Economic Development in an Era of Climate Change and Peak Oil

From 2007-9 I helped co-ordinate a series of six ESRC seminars around the issue of local economic development and climate change. For further details see:


Modernism and the Postmodern Cityscape: Conservation of the Post-War Built Environment

This one-year British Academy-funded (grant number SG-36230) study explored various issues related to the conservation and management of the post-war built environment. I was particularly interested in attempts to safeguard important examples of post-war heritage in the face of continuing pressure to redevelop (and re-image) towns and cities and mixed attitudes towards the main building forms associated with the 1950s and 1960s. The study was grounded on locality case-study research in Manchester, Birmingham, Plymouth and Coventry, together with a national-level analysis of the evolution of the UK's post-war listing programme, and case-studies of individual buildings/groups of buildings (e.g. Lansbury Estate, London; Tricorn Centre, Portsmouth).

CIS Tower, Manchester; Clock Tower, Lansbury Estate, London; Eastgate House, Exeter

Please contact me if you would like further details of my ongoing research.

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 6184
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 6947

email : a.h.while@sheffield.ac.uk