Dr Aidan While
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 the PhD, I was a post-doctoral 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 Town and Regional Planning in the summer of 2004 and I am currently Director of the PhD Research School having previously been Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Environmental policy and politics; cities and climate change; the politics of local and regional development; planning for new economic spaces; growth management; equity and justice in public policy; modernist urbanism; art worlds
I have recently 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 is opening up new research agendas on growth coalitions and the politics of collective provision.
The second main strand of current research focuses on the implications of climate change and climate policy for urban and regional governance. I am particularly interest in the impact of the carbon calculus on policy and investment decisions, and this forms the basis for my current British Academy project on ‘Carbon value change and policy choices in local governance’, which runs from September 2011 until December 2012.
For further details of my research and current projects click here
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 offer the following modules:
TRP105 The Environmental Challenge
TRP210 Urban Design and Place-Making
TRP331 Development Planning
• While A and Short M (2011) ‘Place narratives and heritage management: the Modernist legacy in Manchester’ Area 43 4–13
• While A, Jonas AEG and 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
• While A (2007) 'Modernism versus urban renaissance: negotiating post-war built heritage in English city centres' Urban Studies, 43(13) 2399-2419
• While A, Jonas AEG, Gibbs D (2004) ‘The Environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for an urban sustainability fix in Leeds and Manchester’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28 (3) 549-569
• While A (2003) 'Locating art worlds: London and the making of Young British Art' Area 35 (3) pp. 251-263
Click here for my full list of publications.
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.
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