Global Challenges Academy

Staff Profile

Professor John Pendlebury

Professor of Urban Conservation



John Pendlebury MRTPI IHBC FHEA FAcSS is Professor of Urban Conservation.

I am a town planner and urban conservationist with ten years practice experience in local government, central government and consultancy before re-entering academia in 1996. I have had many departmental and university roles, including serving as Head of School between 2008 and 2016.

I teach and undertake research on heritage, conservation and planning with a focus upon, first, how historic cities have been planned in the past, considering how the historic qualities of cities were conceived and balanced with modernising forces. Second, I undertake empirical and conceptual work on the interface between contemporary cultural heritage policy and other policy processes. Principal publications include Conservation in the Age of Consensus (2009) as well as the edited collections Valuing Historic Environments (2009 with Lisanne Gibson) and Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction: Creating the Modern Townscape (2015 with Erdem Erten and Peter Larkham).

In 2021 I have a new book out, Conserving the Historic Environment, with Jules Brown:

I have around 40 peer-review journal papers and book chapters. Versions of many of these can be accessed through  or my profile on . I have received research funding from AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy and the EU. My principal current focus is upon collaborative European projects looking at the impact of governance reform on heritage planning and new, inclusive governance models. I have also been developing a project on Heritage and Brexit (with Loes Veldpaus)


Research Interests and funded projects

My research mostly focuses on conservation values and social purpose and the way this translates into strategies of management. It is drawn together in my book Conservation in the Age of Consensus Broadly the work divides into two themes:

1. Empirical and conceptual work on the interface between cultural heritage policy and other policy processes e.g. social inclusion & regeneration. This interface poses challenges for considering which values are dominant in motivations for heritage protection (e.g. art historical values vs. ‘public values’). Projects include:

Sustainable Adaption – Resilience in Urban Regeneration (ADAPT), Expert Panel Norwegian Research Council funded project (2019-2021)

Heriland, Newcastle Co-I (Newcastle lead, Sam Turner) EU Intensive Training Network (2019-2022) 

Visiting Researcher Grant for 3 month visiting fellowship at Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), Norwegian Research Council (2018-2020)

Organizing, Promoting and Enabling Heritage Re-use through Inclusion, Technology, Access, Governance and Empowerment (OpenHeritage), Newcastle PI (overall lead MRI, Budapest) EU Horizon 2020 (2018-2022) 

ESRC impact acceleration account (IAA) – Brexit fund, PI WP2 Heritage & Brexit (2017)

Sustainable Green Markets, regenerating the urban core to sustain socio-cultural heritage and economic activities, co-I (PI Neveen Hamza, Newcastle University AHRC (2016)

UK PI (overall lead Delft) for Joint Programming Initiative (Norwegian Research Council funded) The impact of urban planning and governance reform on the historic built environment and intangible cultural heritage (PICH) (2015-2018). See

Co-ordinator for EU - FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES funded project Planning, Urban Management and Heritage (PUMAH)(2012-2016), linking Europe and and Chinese HEIs. See

UK PI (overall lead Delft) for Joint Programming Initiative (AHRC funded) A Sustainable Future for the Historic Urban Core (SHUC) (2013-15). See

Co-I for EPSRC funded project GLOBAL Sustainable Energy through China-UK Research Engagement (SECURE)(2012-2013), examining issues of retrofitting in co-operation with Chinese partners. See

ESRC DTC CASE Studentship (Hannah Garrow) with Architecture Design Scotland (2013-2019) on The Role of Community in Shaping place Identity

Co-I for AHRC funded project (2012) Research for Community Heritage: North East England 

Co-Investigator for EPSRC/ ESRC/ AHRC/ English Heritage funded research network (2006-2007) Valuing the Historic Environment: Concepts, Instrumentalisations and Effects. See web-link above. This project led to the book Valuing Historic Environments

ESRC CASE studentship (Dave Webb) with English Heritage (2006-2009) on heritage and areas of low housing demand

AHRC Collaborative studentship (Elli Winterburn) with Newcastle City Council (2006-2009) on characterising housing areas

ESRC CASE studentship (Nick Shore) with English Heritage (2002-2005) on impact of pluralistic approaches to heritage

Participation in ESRC-funded project on Urban Governance using Grainger Town, Newcastle as a case study (1998-1999)

2. Conceptual work based primarily on city case studies of how historic cities have been planned in the past, particularly in the mid-C20, focusing in particular on how the historic qualities of such cities were conceived and balanced with modernising forces. Projects include:

Devastation, dislocation and (re-)settlement: breaking/replacing the peopl-place connection in landscape, Newcastle team member AHRC-DFG award (2022-25)

ESRC DTC CASE Studentship (Sally Watson) with RIBA (2018-2022) Playing out: A study into children’s use of public space in 1970s housing estates

Co-I for AHRC Connected Communities project (2012) Civic Associations and Urban Communities: Local History, Place-Making and Activism in Twentieth Century Britain. See

Principal Investigator for AHRC-funded project on Thomas Sharp (‘Town and Townscape: The Work and Life of Thomas Sharp’ Resource Enhancement Grant, 2006-2007). See

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome PhD and MPhil applicants and would be delighted to discuss projects related to my research. 


  • Yun Dai, Valuing Modern Architectural Heritage in the UK and China: Case studies of the changing nature, expression and use of heritage value. PhD awarded 2020. Supervised with Adam Sharr
  • Keiji Makino, An ecology of land use; The study of the interaction between people and natural processes based upon case studies of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and Hagi, Japan. PhD awarded 2019. Supervised with Maggie Roe
  • Ye Xi, Two Ways of Meaning in Architecture – ‘Conceptual Meaning’ and ‘Pragmatic Meaning’. PhD awarded 2018. Supervised with Andrew Ballantyne
  • Ning Lu, Investigating Conservation Planning of Industrial Heritage in China: A discourse analysis of changing values in policy and practice. PhD awarded 2016. Supervised with Mark Tewdwr Jones
  • Dave Webb, Problem Neighbourhoods in a Part-Linear, Part-Network Regime: Problems with, and possible responses to, the Housing Market Renewal Leviathan, PhD awarded 2010. Supervised with Stuart Cameron (ESRC CASE studentship with English Heritage).
  • Elli Winterburn, Characterising the Post-Industrial City - A Case-Study of  Industrial  Era Residential Areas in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, PhD awarded 2010. Supervised with Paola Michialano  (AHRC Collaborative studentship with Newcastle City Council).
  • Nattika Navapan, Siamese Monarchy and the Modernisation of Bangkok’s Urban Spaces, 1868-1910. PhD awarded 2010. Supervised with Ian Thompson
  • Mohammadsaeid Izadi, A Case Study on City Centre Regeneration: A comparative analysis of two different approaches to the revitalisation of historic city centres in Iran. Phd awarded 2008. Supervised with Ali Madanipour A
  • Nicolas Shore, Whose Heritage? The Construction of Cultural Built Heritage in a Pluralist, Multicultural England? PhD awarded 2007. Supervised with Tim Townshend (ESRC CASE studentship with English Heritage).
  • Rima El-Hassan, The Use of ICT to Support Urban Heritage Appraisal: The Case of Medieval Tripoli, Lebanon. Phd awarded 2004. Supervised with Hisham Elkadi
  • Xenofon Sotirchopoulos Information Analysis of the Pre-Application Stage for the Statutory Consent in the Building Conservation Industry – An Object Role Modelling Approach in Architectural Documentation. Mphil awarded 2004. Supervised with Hisham Elkadi


Current PhD students:

  • Asmarani Februandari (co-supervised with Andy Law)

  • Anna Tonk (co-supervised with Sam Turner)
  • Byung Choon Hwang (co-supervised with Loes Veldpaus)
  • Danae Peguero (co-supervised with Areti Galini and Nick Rush Cooper)
  • Gulnur Cengiz (co-supervised with Loes Veldpaus)
  • Merve Gokcu (co-supervised with Zander Wilson)
  • Sally Watson (co-supervised with Maggie Roe)
  • Tina Meparishvili (co-supervised with Neil Powe)


My principal teaching is modules on the conservation of the historic environment.

I am currently Degree Programme Director for the Certificate in Planning Practice