School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Neil Adrian Powe

Senior Lecturer in Planning



Neil Powe is a senior lecturer teaching in planning.  Over the last 15 years most of his research has been on small towns with a particular focus on place-based revival.  This period has led to the publication of a series of journal articles and two books.  This research has considered processes of transition and change within these towns.  His most recent book - Planning for Small Town Change explores issues of place-based revival, business growth, population growth and town centre revival.  

More recently, this place-based research has been extended to considering town centre revival in a broader range of urban contexts.  A recent paper entitled - Redesigning Town Centre Planning: From Master Planning Revival to Enabling Self-reorientation - in Planning Theory and Practice illustrates the key thinking behind this on going research.  

For over ten years he researched non-market environmental valuation and specialised in the use of stated preference methods, testing the validity of the approach and determining its applicability to environmental management problems.  He has published a book and many papers on this topic.  He has also contributed to the literature on revealed preference research through the use of hedonic price methods.  

Roles and Responsibilities

Managing Editor for the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management


BA(Hons) Economics
MSC Business Information Technology
PhD Environmental Economics

Previous Positions

Research Associate Department of Town and Country Planning, Newcastle University.
Research Associate Department of Agricultural Economics and Food Marketing, Newcastle University.


Research Interests

His key research interests have focused on place-based change and non-market environmental valuation. 

The place-based change research has significantly enhanced our understanding of how small towns and town centres can reorient themselves in the context of structural and other changes.  Conceptually, the focus has been on the key drivers for place-based change and governance approaches to help better manage this change.

Seeing town centres as complex adaptive sub-systems place-based revival has been conceptualised within a recent paper in Planning Theory and Practice - Redesigning town centre planning: from master planning revival to enabling self-reorientation.  This paper illustrates the potential within many places for self-reorientation and highlights how key policy choices need to be supportive to these bottom-up and locally distinctive forces for revival. 

In terms of place-based governance a recent paper in Town Planning Review entitled - Community enterprises as boundary organisations aiding small town revival: exploring the potential.  Seeing community enterprises as boundary organisations, this was the first regeneration paper to use this conception. 

Given the focus of much of the small town literature on perhaps the more favoured places in terms of their potential to benefit from tourism and rural gentrification, a recent paper in the Journal of Rural Studies entitled - Non-amenity business growth and small town revival - explores instead the potential for alternative non-amenity employment generation within the local economy.   Drawing on two insightful cases, this paper illustrates that more might be achievable than perhaps initially expected.  

The non-market valuation research has focused on the development and testing of revealed and stated preferences methods.  Coming from a mixed background in economics, information technology and planning, this research has demonstrated his interest in the use of multidisciplinary approach to improve these methods.  Bringing together economic and psychology work in this field, the book entitled - Redesigning environmental valuation- mixing methods within stated preference techniques - has encapsulated these efforts.  More recent efforts in this field have been in support of others. 

Postgraduate Supervision

Have successfully supervised ten PhD students to completion. 

Esteem Indicators

Managing Editor for the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.


Previous fundings has been received from:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Transport
Forestry Commission
Countryside Agency
Natural England
North York Moors National Park Authority
Northumberland National Park Authority
Castle Morpeth Borough Council and Morpeth & District Chamber of Trade
Northumbria Leisure
North East Community Forests
Contributed on an ESRC project
Southern Water
South East Water

The Street Foundation

The Street Foundation


Module Leader

TCP2025 Researching Local Economies

TCP2038 Researching Local Economies (Placement)

Contributing to

TCP2027 Research Skills

TCP3028 Strategies into Action