The Planning and Environmental Dynamics theme builds on our position as an internationally-renowned centre for critical research into the theory and practice of spatial planning and environmental management.
The theme investigates the dynamic context in which governance interactions occur. It also looks at the dynamic interactions in terms of conflicts and synergies within and between urban systems and environmental performances themselves.
Drivers of changes
Within this changing context, this theme focuses on the drivers of these changes, including:
- shifting power relations
- revised legislation and procedural requirements
- altered governance arrangements
- changed professional remits and expectations
- the growth of partnership working and consultancy
Planning in managing change
The theme looks at the role of planning in managing ‘change’, as a driver for development and reform. This includes the formulation of public law and policy. It also looks at wider governance issues relating to professionals' remit, expertise, cultural understandings, guiding concepts and theories.
It looks at planning in managing change as a potential constraint and risk to development. This is due to the alteration of natural cycles and systems, and of the boundary between human and natural landscapes as a result of human-induced activities and pressures.
This includes the consideration of direct and indirect on a range of environmental receptors (including landscape), ecosystems (including marine environments), as well as cumulative and synergistic impacts such as climate change.
This theme is interested in the:
- contexts of the interactions occurring within planning and environmental management
- interactions themselves
- substance of these interactions
Research projects have informed our work
Research projects in the UK, Europe and beyond have informed our work in a number of ways:
They have improved the evidence-base that informs territorial governance and spatial planning practices.
Awareness of how the environment responds and reacts to change
Research projects have improved our awareness and understanding of how the environment responds and reacts to change. This is in terms of its assets, resources and services. This is through ex-ante and anticipatory environmental assessment.
How the environment is integrated into planning for sustainability
Research projects have improved how the environment is integrated into planning for sustainability, and how it informs policy. This is to optimise the potential for synergies in changing environmental dynamics and co-benefits for the environment and/or human quality of life.
Promoting theoretical ideas
Research projects have also informed our work by promoting theoretical ideas, concepts and methodologies for analysing such practices. This is through a focus on institutional capacity and institutional transformation in urban and regional governance initiatives. Where necessary, we look at a reform or review of required approaches, skills and knowledge.
Key continuing questions for the theme
- How do the agencies associated with contemporary governance practice conceptualise ever-changing policy issues and questions? How do they intervene in attempts to shape place and space?
- What roles do different stakeholders and their networks play in such work?
- What practices, arenas and processes, both formal and informal, may be involved?
Find out what we're currently working on, and projects we've completed.
A Sustainable Future for the Historic Urban Core - SHUC
Project Leader(s): Professor John Pendlebury
Project Dates: From November 2013 to October 2015
ARCADIA (Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment
Project Leader(s): Prof. Jim Hall
Project Dates: From June 2009 to May 2012
Climate Change and Territorial Effects on Regions and Local Economies
Project Leader(s): Professor Simin Davoudi
Project Dates: From December 2008 to January 2012
Engaging Young People in the Town Planning Process
Project Leader(s): Teresa Strachan
Project Leader(s): Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones
GLOBAL SECURE (Sustainable Energy through China-UK Research Engagement)
Project Leader(s): Professor Tony Roskilly
Great Planning Successes: Innovative transformation in place governance
Project Leader(s): Professor Geoff Vigar
Project Dates: From October 2013 to January 2014
Hexham Abbey - Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technology Project
Project Leader(s): Adam Sharr
Project Leader(s): Dr Andrew Donaldson
Planning Research Studentship
Project Leader(s): Rose Gilroy
Project Dates: From October 2013 to September 2016
Planning, Urban Management and Heritage (PUMAH)
Project Leader(s): John Pendlebury
Project Dates: From February 2012 to January 2016
Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE: Carnegie Fellowship
Project Leader(s): Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE
Spatial Innovation, Planning, Design and User Involvement (SPINDUS)
Project Leader(s): Dr Geoff Vigar
Project Dates: From January 2010 to December 2013
Territorial Governance - Best Practices for New Perspectives (TANGO)
Project Leader(s): Professor Simin Davoudi
Project Dates: From September 2011 to February 2014
Find out which members of staff are involved in this research theme.
Professor Simin Davoudi
Professor of Environmental Policy & Planning
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6809
Dr Paola Gazzola
Senior Lecturer in Planning / Degree Programme Director MPlan/BA Urban Planning/BA Town Planning and BA Geography and Planning
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7810
Dr Zan Gunn
Degree Programme Director Diploma in Town Planning
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8002
Emeritus Professor Patsy Healey OBE
Emeritus Prof of Town & Country Plann
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8810
Professor John Pendlebury
Professor of Urban Conservation
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6810