aidanDr Aidan While

Senior Lecturer

Room number: D19
Telephone (internal): 26184
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 6184
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 6184


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:

PhD supervision 

I am Primary Supervisor for the following PhD students:

  • Clare Reger, Community-based energy schemes
  • Rachael Bust, Safeguarding mineral resources as national assets: a contemporary exploration
  • Anthony McLean, Research interest: Integrated urban infrastructures
  • Timi Owei, Urban politics of energy
  • Daniel Tubridy, Future Urban Infrastructure
  • Milyung Son, ‘Urban regeneration’ to ‘Social regeneration’: Culture and social regeneration through the Culture City of East Asia (CCEA) event initiative in Cheongju South Korea
  • Farah Haji Mustafa, Tourism planning: “Building Marvel” as the main urban tourism product in attracting visitors
  • Kushtrim Zeqiri, Foreign direct investments and economic growth in Kosovo

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; art worlds and the business of contemporary art; heritage politics and conservation policy.


Journal articles

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