Dr Andy Inch
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
+44 114 222 6929
Full contact details
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
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.
- 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)
- Exploring planning as a technology of hope. Journal of Planning Education and Research. View this article in WRRO
- Narratives of power : bringing ideology to the fore of planning analysis. Planning Theory, 19(1), 3-16. 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
- Planning amid crisis and austerity : in, against and beyond the contemporary conjuncture. International Planning Studies, 25(1), 1-8. View this article in WRRO
- Beyond techno-utopia and its discontents: on the role of utopianism and speculative fiction in shaping alternatives to the smart city imaginary. Futures, 115. View this article in WRRO
- People and planning at fifty/‘People and planning’ 50 years on: The never-ending struggle for planning to engage with people/Skeffington: a view from the coalface/from participation to inclusion/marking the 50th anniversary of Skeffington: Reflections from a day of discussion/what to commemorate? ‘other’ international milestones of democratising city-making/An American’s reflections on Skeffington’s relevance at 50. Planning Theory & Practice, 20(5), 735-759. View this article in WRRO
- Thinking conjuncturally about ideology, housing and English planning. Planning Theory. View this article in WRRO
- Signs of hope in the dark?. Planning Theory & Practice, 20(3), 317-319. View this article in WRRO
- Framing people and planning: 50 years of debate. Built Environment, 45(1), 7-25. View this article in WRRO
- On Time and Planning: Opening Futures by Cultivating a “Sense of Now”. Journal of Planning Literature. View this article in WRRO
- Strengthening Planning’s Effectiveness in a Hyper-Polarized World/Responding to the Conservative Common Sense of Opposition to Planning and Development in England/The Limits to Negotiation and the Promise of Refusal/Planning Contexts in a Hyper-Polarized World/A Right to Sanctuary: Supporting Immigrant Communities in an Era of Extreme Precarity/Planning and Climate Change: Opportunities and Challenges in a Politically Contested Environment/Speaking with the Middle 40% to Bridge the Political Divide for Mutual Gains in Planning Agreements. Planning Theory & Practice, 19(4), 581-615.
- Unsettling planning theory. Planning Theory, 17(3), 418-438. View this article in WRRO
- The timely return of the repressed – commentary to Walton. Fennia : International Journal of Geography, 196(1), 99-102. View this article in WRRO
- ‘Opening for business’? Neoliberalism and the cultural politics of modernising planning in Scotland. Urban Studies, 55(5), 1076-1092.
- Responding to the conservative common sense of opposition to planning and development in England. Planning Theory and Practice, 19(4), 584-589. View this article in WRRO
- Anticipations: on the state of the planning imagination. Planning Theory & Practice, 18(1), 3-6. View this article in WRRO
- Planning in the face of immovable subjects: a dialogue about resistance to development forces. Planning Theory and Practice, 18(3), 469-488. View this article in WRRO
- Putting Localism in Place: Conservative Images of the Good Community and the Contradictions of Planning Reform in England. Planning Practice and Research, 31(2), 174-194. View this article in WRRO
- Ordinary citizens and the political cultures of planning: In search of the subject of a new democratic ethos. Planning Theory, 14(4), 404-424. View this article in WRRO
- Res non verba? rediscovering the social purpose of planning (and the university): The Westfield Action Research Project. PLANNING THEORY & PRACTICE, 16(3), 418-423.
- Partnerships of learning for planning education Who is learning what from whom? The beautiful messiness of learning partnerships/Experiential learning partnerships in Australian and New Zealand higher education planning programmes/Res non verba? rediscovering the social purpose of planning (and the university): The Westfield Action Research Project/At the coalface,Take 2: Lessons from students' critical reflections/Education for “cubed change”/Unsettling planning education through community-engaged teaching and learning: Reflections on the Indigenous Planning Studio. Planning Theory & Practice, 16(3), 409-434.
- Introduction Planning as a profession in uncertain times. Town Planning Review, 83(5), 505-512.
- 'Cultural work', spatial planning and the politics of renewing public sector planning professionalism in England. Town Planning Review, 83(5), 513-532.
- Deconstructing Spatial Planning: Re-interpreting the Articulation of a New Ethos for English Local Planning. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, 20(6), 1039-1057. View this article in WRRO
- Creating 'a generation of NIMBYs'? Interpreting the role of the state in managing the politics of urban development. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 30(3), 520-535. View this article in WRRO
- Culture change as identity regulation: The micro-politics of producing spatial planners in England. Planning Theory and Practice, 11(3), 359-374. View this article in WRRO
- Planning at the crossroads again: Re-evaluating street-level regulation of the contradictions in New Labour's planning reforms. Planning Practice and Research, 24(1), 83-101.
- A review of recent critical studies of UK planning. International Planning Studies, 12(1), 77-86.
- “We need to put what we do in my dad’s language, in pounds, shillings and pence”: Commercialisation and the reshaping of public-sector planning in England. Urban Studies.
- Urban Planning, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (pp. 87-92). Elsevier
- 'Cultural work' and the remaking of planning's 'apparatus of truth' In Gunder M, Madanipour A & Watson V (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory (pp. 194-206). New York: Routledge.
- G Young and D Stevenson, The Ashgate research companion to planning and culture. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 43(3), 600-602.
- Spatial Planning and Governance: Understanding UK Planning. URBAN STUDIES, 51(5), 1092-1095.
- Organising waste in the city: international perspectives on narratives and practices. Critical Policy Studies, 7(4), 467-469.
- Planning in Ten Words or Less: A Lacanian Entanglement with Spatial Planning. International Planning Studies, 17(1), 103-105.
- Book Reviews. Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 7(4), 523-548.
- 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
- Tribute to John Friedmann. Planning Theory & Practice, 19(1), 9-9.
- Research group
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.