Dr Aidan While
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
+44 114 222 6184
Full contact details
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
After studying for a BA and MA in Art History and English, I discovered planning via the Masters in Civic Design (RTPI-accredited) at the University of Liverpool.
I then studied for a part-time PhD on Partnerships and Regional Economic Governance (awarded 2001) whilst working as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Urban Development and Environmental Management (CUDEM) at Leeds Metropolitan University.
After completing my PhD, I was a Research Fellow in the Department of Geography, University of Hull and Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Manchester.
I joined the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in the summer of 2004.
Editorial board involvement includes being Associate Editor for the Journal of Planning Theory and Practice and an editorial board member for Town Planning Review. I am also a member of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Policy Review College and an external examiner for postgraduate planning programmes at the University of Newcastle.
- Research interests
Governance of new economic spaces
I have completed three interlinked research projects on planning for high-growth ‘new economic spaces’ involving case-study research in Cambridge (UK), Stockholm, Munich, Seattle, Boston (USA), Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur.
Funded by the British Academy and the Nuffield Foundation, the central concern of this research has been to examine the effectiveness and outcomes of growth management in different national and regional contexts.
This research has opened up new research agendas on growth coalitions and the politics of collective provision.
Implications of climate change and climate policy for urban and regional governance
A second strand of my research focuses on the implications of climate change and climate policy for urban and regional governance. I am particularly interested in the impact of the carbon calculus on policy and investment decisions.
This formed the basis of a recent British Academy funded project on ‘Carbon value change and policy choices in local governance’.
Current and Recent Research Projects
- Tackling poverty through planning and housing in city regions (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
- Major development projects: connecting people in poverty to jobs (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
- Learning the lessons of the voluntary 'right to buy' pilots (National Housing Federation)
- Rotherham Strategic Housing Market Assessment (Rotherham MBC)
- Attitudes and behaviour towards the New Homes Bonus (Department for Communities and Local Government)
- Territorial Policy and Governance. Routledge.
- Finding the niche: A review of market assessment methodologies for rural electrification with small scale wind power. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 133.
- The urban bioeconomy: extracting value from the ecological and biophysical. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. View this article in WRRO
- Urban robotic experimentation: San Francisco, Tokyo and Dubai. Urban Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Containing COVID-19 in China: AI and the robotic restructuring of future cities. Dialogues in Human Geography, 10(2), 238-241.
- Planning control and the politics of soft densification. Town Planning Review, 91(3), 305-324. View this article in WRRO
- Empowering householders: Identifying predictors of intentions to use a home energy management system in the United Kingdom. Energy Policy, 139. View this article in WRRO
- 'The object is to change the heart and soul' : financial incentives, planning and opposition to new housebuilding in England. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. View this article in WRRO
- Robotics and automation in the city : a research agenda. Urban Geography. View this article in WRRO
- Households in place: socio-spatial (dis)advantage in energy-carbon restructuring. European Planning Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: The UK Future Cities initiative. Urban Studies, 54(2), 501-519. View this article in WRRO
- Who writes for Planning Theory & Practice and why?. Planning Theory and Practice, 17(3), 319-322.
- A hybrid actuator disc - full rotor CFD methodology for modelling the effects of wind turbine wake interactions on performance. Renewable Energy, 80, 525-537. View this article in WRRO
- Editorial matters. Planning Theory & Practice, 15(4), 447-450.
- Engineering and energy yield: The missing dimension of wind turbine assessment. Energy Policy, 65, 245-250. View this article in WRRO
- Cities, Urbanisation and Climate Change. Urban Studies, 50(7), 1325-1331.
- The competition state, city-regions, and the territorial politics of growth facilitation. Environment and Planning A, 45(10), 2379-2398.
- Resisting the Growth Clamp. Planning Theory & Practice, 13(4), 503-506.
- The future of sustainable cities: critical reflections - Edited by John Flint and Mike Raco. Area, 44(3), 392-393.
- Locally Manufactured Micro Wind Turbines for Rural Electrification: A Developing Countries Perspective.. Energy Policy, 43(0), 173-183.
- The new urban politics as a politics of carbon control. Urban Studies, 48(12), 2537-2554.
- Place narratives and heritage management: the modernist legacy in Manchester. AREA, 43(1), 4-13.
- Managing infrastructural and service demands in new economic spaces: The new territorial politics of collective provision. Regional Studies, 44(2), 183-200.
- From sustainable development to carbon control: Eco-state restructuring and the politics of urban and regional development. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35(1), 76-93.
- Urban World Heritage Sites and the problem of authenticity. Cities, 26(6), 349-358.
- Ontology and the conservation of built heritage. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27(4), 721-737.
- Exeter and the question of Thomas Sharp’s physical legacy. Planning Perspectives, 24(1), 77-97.
- Climate change and planning: Carbon control and spatial regulation. Town Planning Review, 79(1), vii-xiii.
- The State and the Controversial Demands of Cultural Built Heritage: Modernism, Dirty Concrete, and Postwar Listing in England. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(4), 645-663.
- Governing nature conservation: The European Union Habitats Directive and conflict around estuary management. Environment and Planning A, 39(2), 339-358.
- Modernism vs Urban Renaissance: Negotiating Post-war Heritage in English City Centres. Urban Studies, 43(13), 2399-2419.
- The environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for the urban ‘sustainability fix’ in Manchester and Leeds. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(3), 549-569.
- State modernisation and local strategic selectivity after Local Agenda 21: evidence from three northern English localities. Policy & Politics, 32(2), 151-168.
- Unblocking the City? Growth Pressures, Collective Provision, and the Search for New Spaces of Governance in Greater Cambridge, England. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 36(2), 279-304.
- Locating art worlds: London and the making of Young British art. Area, 35(3), 251-263.
- Globalization, state restructuring and innovation in European water management systems: Reflections from England and Wales. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, 9(6), 721-737.
- Filling the Gaps in Redundancy Support: Lessons from Leeds. Regional Studies, 35(4), 363-367.
- A new space for sustainable development? Regional environmental governance in the North West and the West Midlands of England. Town Planning Review, 71(4), 395-413.
- Accountability and Regional Governance. Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 14(4), 329-345.
- Labour Market Policy as Flexible Welfare: Prototype Employment Zones and the New Workfarism. Regional Studies, 34(7), 669-680.
- From Corporate City to Citizens City?. Urban Affairs Review, 35(1), 3-23.
- A new Agenda for governance? Agenda 21 and the prospects for holistic local decision making. Local Government Studies, 23(4), 111-123.
- Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: the UK Future Cities initiative. Urban Studies.
- Conclusions: Three Modalities for a New Climate Urbanism, Climate Urbanism (pp. 243-252). Springer International Publishing
- Introduction: Climate Urbanism—Towards a Research Agenda, Climate Urbanism (pp. 1-11). Springer International Publishing
- Carbon regulation and low-carbon urban restructuring In Hodson M & Marvin S (Ed.), After Sustainable Cities? (pp. 41-58). London: Routledge.
- Cities and Low Carbon Transitions Routledge
- Book reviews. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 12(2), 223-233.
- Book Review: Three Decades of Enterprise Culture: Entrepreneurship, Economic Regeneration and Public Policy. Urban Studies, 46(8), 1749-1751.
- Book review: Culture, urbanism and planning. Edited by J. Monclús and M. Guàrdia. Aldershot: Ashgate. 2006. xix + 293 pp. £55.00 hardback. ISBN: 0754646238. cultural geographies, 15(4), 521-522.
- The practice of modernism: modern architects and urban transformation, 1954-1972. URBAN MORPHOLOGY, 12(1), 65-67.
- Book Review: Cosmopolis II. Mongrel cities in the 21st century. Progress in Human Geography, 29(3), 402-404.
- Devolution in practice: Public policy differences within the UK. REGIONAL STUDIES, 37(8), 872-873.
- City of revolution: Restructuring Manchester. URBAN STUDIES, 40(10), 2106-2107.
Conference proceedings papers
- Post-installation analysis of locally manufactured small wind turbines: Case studies in Peru. 2012 IEEE Third International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (ICSET), 24 September 2012 - 27 September 2012.
- Modern movement conservation as progressive practice: Byker and british welfare state housing. Proceedings of the 10th International DOCOMOMO Conference - The Challenge of Change: Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement (pp 55-60)
- Changing governance structures and the environment: economy–environment relations at the local and regional scales. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Vol. 4(2) (pp 123-138)
- Urban Robotics and Automation: Critical Challenges, International Experiments and Transferable Lessons for the UK
- View this article in WRRO Attitudinal research on financial payments to reduce opposition to new homes
- View this article in WRRO The impact of the New Homes Bonus on attitudes and behaviour
- Research group
I am Primary Supervisor for the following PhD students:
- Rachel Bust, Safeguarding mineral resources as national assets: a contemporary exploration
- Farah Haji Mustafa, Tourism planning: “Building Marvel” as the main urban tourism product in attracting visitors
- Taekyung Song, The construction of a new approach to securing and utilising human rsources and technologies in South Korea
I welcome applications for PhD research on topics related to my main research interests, including: planning for climate change; low-carbon policy; the relationship between planning and economic development; growth management and sustainable development.
- Teaching activities
My teaching seeks to promote (and provoke) critical debate about the processes and outcomes of decision-making. Emphasis is placed on helping students develop an appreciation of the full implications of policy choices and the possibility for alternatives.
The intention is to equip graduates with the skills, knowledge and understanding to make a difference in their future careers.
An important part of this approach is to create space for discussion and debate through workshops, seminars and student presentations and my modules have been designed to allow the latest ideas to be brought directly into teaching.
In 2007 I was awarded a University of Sheffield Senate Award for innovation in interdisciplinary teaching.
I currently teach the following modules: