Global Urban Research Unit

Staff Profile

Dr Neil Adrian Powe

Senior Lecturer in Planning



Neil Powe is a senior lecturer teaching in planning.  Most of his recent work has been on small towns with a particular focus on place-based revival.  This research has considered processes of transition and change within these towns.  Indeed, this provided the focus of the recent book "Planning for Small Town Change".  Issues of business growth and town centre revival have provided key foci within this research.   The different context of small town growth has also been considered and the challenge of managing change when the market is active. 

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

He has two main research interests rural planning and non-market environmental valuation.  The rural planning research has significantly enhanced our understanding of small towns, in terms of their characteristics and the interactions between housing, employment and retail. This research has also considered their future viability and how to plan for change.  The non-market environmental valuation research has specialised in the use of stated preference methods, testing the validity of the approach and determining its applicability to environmental management problems.

Other Expertise

Coming from a mixed background of economics and information technology, he is also interested in the use of multidisciplinary approaches to improve these existing methodologies. This has previously been illustrated through the combined use of statistics techniques, focus groups and geographical information systems.

Recent work

Our new book on the planning for small town change came out in 2017.   This book covers issues of regeneration, growth, retail and policies to encourage the co-location of activities within small towns.  A number of papers have been published or in press on these topics and this book brings together this work within a coherent whole.  

In 2017 the following report came out:

 "Helping Businesses Thrive in Peripheral Rural Towns" - this 2017 report is available to download at:

A more focused journal article on this topic has just been published:

Powe NA. Non-amenity business growth and small town revival. Journal of Rural Studies 2018, 62, 125-133.

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