Global Urban Research Unit

Staff Profile

Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones

Professor of Town Planning and Director of Newcastle City Futures


Mark Tewdwr-Jones BSc (Hons), DipTP, MA, PhD, FAcSS, FRSA, FRGS, FRTPI, FeRSA, AoU.

Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones is Director of Newcastle City Futures and the fifth holder of Newcastle University's 1946 Established Chair of Town Planning and a member of the Global Urban Research Unit at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and one of the leading global authorities on urban planning, place and policy. Educated in planning, geography, politics and film history, Mark's research interests are in the fields of cities and regions, urban and spatial planning, land use, historic and contemporary urban change, and community participation in places.

Active internationally, Mark currently serves as Chairman of the Regional Studies Association, and has recently completed two stints as Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of New South Wales. He has been the recipient of distinguished visiting fellowships at Berkeley, Hong Kong, Western Sydney, Shanghai, Guadalajara, Nijmegen, Pretoria, Seoul, Singapore, Dublin, Vienna and Malta. He leads the Foresight Future of Cities International Research Network comprising Newcastle, Hong Kong, Sydney and Groningen, and is a member of the German Academy of Spatial Research and Planning City Regions Planning and Governance Research Network  He was an active member of the Horizon 2020 Accomplissh project on the impact of social science and humanities on places, and was a lead advisor on the OECD Governance of Land Use project.

He has advised cities and governments globally, including Shanghai Municipality in China for the redevelopment of the city's Bund, the Government of New South Wales in Australia on long term strategic planning futures, and opportunities for planning community engagement in disadvantaged communities in Guadalajara in Mexico. 

Formerly employed at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning at UCL where he worked with the late Professor Sir Peter Hall, Mark is at ease discussing the past, present and future of places with architects, planners, geographers, scientists and engineers, as well as with businesses, communities, governments and filmmakers.  He became an Academic Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011 and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2013.  He holds a passionate interest in inter-disciplinary research.  

Mark was previously UK Government Advisor on planning, land use and housing issues to ministers in UK Government, the Welsh Government and Scottish Government, and served as a lead expert for the Government Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington’s Foresight project on Land Use Futures; more recently he has been involved in Sir Mark Walport's Future of Cities Foresight project. He was also a lead expert on the NHS NICE project on spatial planning and health, advised the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, served on the ESRC CASE Award Panel and RTPI General Assembly, has given evidence to select committees, and was a panel member for DFiD's Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He currently chairs the Connected Places Catapult research panel.

As well as providing research advice, Mark is regularly called upon to discuss policy and engagement options with and in central and local government, and with different groups and communities in towns and cities.  He has been a speaker at the Cheltenham Science Festival, a curator of city and film sessions at the Open City London Documentary Film Festival, a speaker at both the Bristol Festival of the Future City, and the Daily Telegraph Smart Cities summits.  He was the recipient of the RTPI North East Planning Awards 2015 Chair's Award for Planning Excellence, an RIBA Research Award 2016, the RTPI Research Awards 2016 Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement commendation for Newcastle City Futures, and the Huawei Smart Cities Index Education Award 2017.

He has directed Newcastle City Futures since 2014.  NCF is an innovative collaborative arena bringing together academics from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, with officials from Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, and business and community representatives that has led to a partnership of almost 200 organisations.  NCF designs innovative cross sectoral and collaborative initiatives in the North East to improve research, resilience, well being and policy.  See Newcastle City Futures.

Google Scholar: Click here.


Mark's achievements over the last 30 years relate to understanding and shaping future places.  These include spatial planning and governance, devising foresight methods for the future of places and cities, visual methods for active citizen and business participation in cities, strategic spatial thinking and devolved governance, the study and representation of cities historically in film and television, behavioural dimensions to planning theory, and the relationship between planning and other policy fields such as regional economic growth, housing, and second homes.

He has produced 15 books, including: The European Dimension of British Planning (with R.H. Williams, 2001); The Planning Polity: Planning, Government and the Policy Process (2002); Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory (with P. Allmendinger, 2002); Second Homes (with N. Gallent and A. Mace, 2005); Territory, Identity and Spatial Planning (with P. Allmendinger, 2006); Decent Homes for All (with N. Gallent, 2007); Urban and Regional Planning (with Sir P. Hall, 2011, 2020), Urban Reflections: Narratives of Place, Planning and Change (2011); Spatial Planning and Governance (2012); The Collaborating Planner? Practitioners in the Neo-liberal Age (with B. Clifford, 2013); and The Planning Imagination (with N. Phelps and R. Freestone, 2014). 

Mark is the recipient of over £20m of research and consultancy grants and has undertaken major research work for government, charities and businesses.  He has given over 300 research talks and speeches worldwide, and has supervised successfully over 25 PhD students.  He has led or co-led a number of major Government and Research Council funded studies in the social sciences including The Impact of the EU on UK Planning (1996-98), Peripherality and Spatial Planning (1998-2000), Methodologies for National Spatial Planning (2000-1), Second and Holiday Homes in Wales and England (2001-3), Linguistic Impact Assessment (2003-4), Local Development Frameworks (2003-4), Effective Spatial Planning in Practice (2006-7), Land Use Futures (2008-10), Spatial Planning and Health (2009-11), Newcastle City Futures 2065 (2013-15), Digital Economy Research Centre (2016-20) and Newcastle and Gateshead Urban Living Partnership (2016-18).  

Recently, he was part of the Newcastle team that won the £40m National Innovation Centre for Ageing Science, announced with UK Treasury funding in 2014, the £9m EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre and CTD Digital Civics programme, the £4m Geospatial Systems, and Newcastle University's partnering of the Alan Turing Institute. He currently leads the Newcastle City Futures RCUK Innovate UK Urban Living Partnership pilot for Newcastle and Gateshead, one of five national pilots, and has levered in over £27m for partners in the city since 2016.

His Google Scholar link is here:


Mark is currently seconded to be Newcastle University's 'Cities Lead'.  He still supervises PhD students and undertakes lectures periodically for the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape at Newcastle and other universities nationally and globally.