Dr Gwyn Rowley

School of Geography and Planning



A rich and varied career commenced with appointment to a lectureship in Sheffield, subsequently being promoted to Senior Lecturer then Reader.

Visiting positions have included periods at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Clark University, Harvard University, the Universities of Toronto, McMaster, Manitoba and Wilfred Laurier.

Dr Rowley is also a Peabody Fellow at Harvard. He is currently an external examiner at Universities within the UK, Ireland and the Middle East.

Research interests
  • City and town centres
  • Out-of-centre retailing
  • Middle East
  • Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories
  • Competition over land and water in Palestine
  • The Islamic World

Current research

Inner city research within the UK and North America, retail systems and competitions over land and natural resources within the Middle East, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader Islamic cultural realm.

Two matters are of particular interest at the present time:

  1. In Britain we focus upon the proceeding developments within and about the established Central Business Districts and the potential generative effects of the larger out-of-town retail agglomerations, as at Meadowhall, Sheffield, upon adjacent brownfield sites.
  2. Within the Middle East the continuing Israeli irredentist activities about Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories in general provide a specific focus of our proceeding studies.

Dr Rowley places a special emphasis upon face-to-face interactive fieldwork in his research.

Professional activities and memberships

Dr Rowley is frequently called to lecture upon his research interests, and is a regular contributor to radio and TV programmes in the UK, the US and elsewhere on matters relating to his research upon the Inner City, retailing and the Middle East. He holds a range of consultancies related to his research expertise.

His proceeding work upon children in town centres (with Helen Woolley) was recognised with the receipt of the "Research Award for 1997" from the Royal Landscape Institution at the Café Royal in London during November 1997.

In October 1997 he was also awarded the D Litt degree from the University of Wales for his "contributions to scholarship and research".

During later 2001 Dr Rowley has been invited to present prestigious lectures on the Middle East at both Harvard University and at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. He has also joined US President George W Bush's Advisory Panel on the Middle East.

Key publications

Gwyn has over 150 publications, including four books and over 150 refereed research papers in journals. Recent key publications include:

  • Rowley, G. (2000). Political controls of river waters and abstractions between various states within the Middle East: Laws and operations - with special reference to the Jordan basin. In: Amery, H.A. and Wolf A. (eds.) Water in the Middle East: A Geography of Peace. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. 218-244.
  • Rowley, G. (1999). The Tragedy of the Common Waters: Towards the Deepening Crisis within the Jordan Basin. The Arab World Geographer, 2, 26-40.
  • Rowley, G. with Woolley, H., Spencer, C. and Dunn, J. (1999). The child as citizen: Experiences of British Town and City Centres. Journal of Urban Design, 4 (3) (1999), 255-282.
  • Rowley, G., Woolley H. and Dunn J. (1998). City centres and children: Current and future shoppers. In: Grimmeau, J.P. and Metton, A. (eds.) Localisations differentielles dans le Commerce de Detail. Published as Revue Belge de Geographie, 121, 85-92.
  • Rowley, G. (1997). The Pilgrimage to Mecca and the Centrality of Islam. In: Stoddard, R.H. and Morinis, A. (eds.) Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces: The Geography of Pilgrimages. Published as Geoscience and Man, 34, pp141-159.