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.
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
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:
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.
- Taylor Buck N & While A (2017) Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: The UK Future Cities initiative. Urban Studies. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- While A & Whitehead M (2013) Cities, Urbanisation and Climate Change. Urban Studies, 50(7), 1325-1331.
- While A, Gibbs D & Jonas AEG (2013) The competition state, city-regions, and the territorial politics of growth facilitation. Environment and Planning A, 45(10), 2379-2398.
- While A & Short M (2011) Place narratives and heritage management: the modernist legacy in Manchester. AREA, 43(1), 4-13.
- Jonas AEG, Gibbs D & While A (2011) The New Urban Politics as a Politics of Carbon Control. Urban Studies, 48(12), 2537-2554.
- While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs D (2010) 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.
- Jonas AEG, While AH & Gibbs DC (2010) Managing Infrastructural and Service Demands in New Economic Spaces: The New Territorial Politics of Collective Provision. Regional Studies, 44(2), 183-200.
- Pendlebury J, Short M & While A (2009) Urban World Heritage Sites and the problem of authenticity. Cities, 26(6), 349-358.
- Tait M & While A (2009) Ontology and the conservation of built heritage. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27(4), 721-737.
- While A (2008) Climate change and planning: Carbon control and spatial regulation. Town Planning Review, 79(1), vii-xiii.
- Tait MA & While A (2008) Exeter and the question of Thomas Sharp’s physical legacy. Planning Perspectives, 24(1), 77-97.
- While A (2007) 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.
- Gibbs DC, While AH & Jonas AEG (2007) Governing nature conservation: The European Union Habitats Directive and conflict around estuary management. Environment and Planning A, 39(2), 339-358.
- While A (2006) Modernism vs Urban Renaissance: Negotiating Post-war Heritage in English City Centres. Urban Studies, 43(13), 2399-2419.
- Jonas AEG, While A & Gibbs DC (2004) State modernisation and local strategic selectivity after Local Agenda 21: evidence from three northern English localities. Policy & Politics, 32(2), 151-168.
- While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs D (2004) 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.
- While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs DC (2004) Unblocking the City? Growth Pressures, Collective Provision, and the Search for New Spaces of Governance in Greater Cambridge, England. Environment and Planning A, 36(2), 279-304.
- While A (2003) Locating art worlds: London and the making of Young British art. Area, 35(3), 251-263.
- While A & Bruff G (2001) Filling the gaps in redundancy support: Lessons from Leeds. Regional Studies, 35(4), 363-367.
- While A & Haughton G (2001) Globalization, state restructuring and innovation in European water management systems: Reflections from England and Wales. European Planning Studies, 9(6), 721-737.
- While A (2000) Accountability and regional governance. The emerging role of regional chambers in England. Local Economy, 14(4), 329-345.
- Haughton G, Jones M, Peck J, Tickell A & While A (2000) Labour market policy as flexible welfare: prototype employment zones and the new workfarism. Regional Studies, 34, 669-680.
- While A, Littlewood S & Whitney D (2000) 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.
- Haughton G & While A (1999) From Corporate City to Citizens City?: Urban Leadership After Local Entrepreneurialism in the United Kingdom. Urban Affairs Review, 35(1), 3-23.
- Littlewood S & While A (1997) A new Agenda for governance? Agenda 21 and the prospects for holistic local decision making. Local Government Studies, 23(4), 111-123.