Dr Andy Inch

School of Geography and Planning

Senior Lecturer

+44 114 222 6929

Full contact details

Dr Andy Inch
School of Geography and Planning
Room C4b
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I rejoined the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (USP) as a Senior Lecturer in May 2018 having spent the previous two years as a research fellow at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais at the University of Lisbon in Portugal where I am still an ‘associated researcher’. Prior to that, I was a lecturer in USP from 2010-2016.

I also spent a year as a lecturer at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh immediately after finishing my PhD in 2009.

My academic background is interdisciplinary, my first degree was in English Literature and Modern History at the University of St Andrews (1995-1999). After teaching English in Japan, Spain and the UK, I completed an MSc and then PhD in Planning at Oxford Brookes University.

I am a comment and reviews editor for the journal Planning Theory and Practice and european editor of International Planning Studies.

I am also a trustee of a charity called Planning Democracy that campaigns for a fair and inclusive planning system in Scotland.

Research interests

I have broad ranging research interests, working at the intersections of urban planning and development, political theory, governance and public administration. My work is motivated by a belief that planning should be a means of democratically shaping more just and sustainable futures. This provides a starting point from which I try to critically explore both why this doesn’t seem to happen very often and how things could be done differently.

To date I have focused particularly on four areas of planning theory and practice:

  • The ideological and political dimensions of attempts to reform planning systems: focusing on the ways ideas about the role and purpose of urban planning are being reshaped and how various actors have responded to change, particularly planning professionals.
  • Opposition to new development: with a particular focus on what citizens’ experiences of mobilization and conflict can teach us about the politics of urban planning and its potential as a democratic means of managing land-use change.
  • How participatory forms of research can support citizen-led efforts to plan solutions to the complex socio-spatial challenges they face: working in collaboration with Lee Crookes, we have been exploring how to develop more engaged forms of planning education and research.
  • More recently, I have become interested in the temporal dimensions of planning: the ways in which possible futures are imagined and made governable through urban governance and planning and how this might be done differently, including by reconsidering the relationship between utopianism and planning.

I have published a range of articles and book chapters, edited journal special issues and completed various funded research and consultancy projects on these themes.

Research projects

  • Working in the Public Interest (Economic and Social Research Council)
  • From Soft Planning to Territorial Design (FCT - Portuguese Research Council)
  • Beyond the Crisis of the Future: social research for just and sustainable urban futures (Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, FCT, Portugal)
  • Changing the culture of Scottish planning (RICS)

Journal articles


Book reviews


  • Dunning R, Henneberry J, Inch A, Payne S, Watkins C, While A, Young G & Hickman H (2017) Attitudinal research on financial payments to reduce opposition to new homes View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunning R, Watkins C, Inch A, Payne S, While A, Young G, Hickman H, Bramley G, McIntosh S, Watkins D & Valler D (2014) The impact of the New Homes Bonus on attitudes and behaviour View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download


Research group

PhD Supervision

I am currently Primary Supervisor for the following students:

  • Katherine Blaker, Contemporary forms of mutual aid in post-industrial places
  • Hakjin Lee, Neighbourhood planning: localism, community participation and conflicts
  • Jonathan Marsden, Making space for co-production
  • Marion Oveson, How are community-university projects experienced by the resident participant

I welcome applications for PhD research on topics related to my research interests including: the politics of planning; opposition to urban development; public engagement in planning; activist and engaged urban scholarship, and; how planning imagines and shapes futures.

Teaching interests

My teaching is underpinned by a strong belief that learning is an active process and that planning education is most interesting and effective when it engages with real places, people and practices.

Learning in this way enables us to question live issues, exploring different ways in which they can be understood. I aim to encourage students to think critically about the role planning plays but also to creatively consider how things could be done differently.

In 2015 I was jointly awarded a University of Sheffield Senate Award for my collaborative work on the Westfield Action Research Project, a community-university partnership that involved students working with residents of a housing estate in Sheffield.