School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Teresa Strachan

Lecturer in Planning


As a chartered town planner and lecturer, I am passionate about the potential for transforming communities and people’s lives through a participatory approach to planning.  After graduating from Newcastle University’s planning school, I spent the early part of my career in planning practice, learning the skills needed to deliver development management and policy making, as well as helping to create planning solutions to specific place - based challenges.

Before joining the School as a tutor in 2007, I had previously worked for Planning Aid North as a Community Planner, bringing planning education to young people in County Durham.  This work continues to inspire my teaching at Newcastle, knowing that there are so many possibilities for the wider community to be involved in the planning process, based upon an increased awareness of town planning at local neighbourhood level. I believe that the planning profession has a responsibility to increase this public awareness.

Since 2011’s Localism Act and the advent of Neighbourhood Planning, communities have benefitted from an enhanced statutory role in local level planning.  My research aims to explore the role that young people have within this planning process and to develop the methods by which planners can also effectively engage with them.  In 2014 I founded the student volunteer project ‘YES Planning’, which enables students across a range of planning programmes to develop their engagement skills by getting involved in current planning education in schools and in community planning initiatives.  In 2015, students who were inspired through this project went on to publish a toolkit for engaging young people in planning for their final year of studies and were subsequently shortlisted for that year’s regional Royal Town Planning Institute’s ‘Excellence in Planning’ award for their work.

Recent engagement and research with the region's young people has enabled the YES Planning students to devise and deliver a workshop geared towards understanding the impact of Hot Food Takeaways on shopping streets, on health and on social behaviour.  This workshop and supporting resources, known as the 'Canny Planners' allows participants to consider the role of planning in the control of takeaways, from a local perspective.  'Canny Planners' was Shortlisted for the RTPI's Excellence in Planning Research Awards, 2019, for the Sir Peter Hall Wider Engagement category.