Dr Aidan While


About Aidan

After studying for a BA and MA in Art History and English, Aidan discovered planning via the Masters in Civic Design (RTPI-accredited) at the University of Liverpool. He studied for a part-time PhD on Partnerships and Regional Economic Governance (awarded 2001) whilst working as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Urban Development and Environmental Management (CUDEM) at Leeds Metropolitan University. After completing his PhD, he worked as a Research Fellow in the Department of Geography, University of Hull and Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Manchester.

Aidan is Associate Editor for the Journal of Planning Theory and Practice and an editorial board member for Town Planning Review. He is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Policy Review College and an external examiner for postgraduate planning programmes at the Newcastle University.

Research interests

Dr While has completed three interlinked research projects on planning for high-growth ‘new economic spaces’ involving case-study research in Cambridge (UK), Stockholm, Munich, Seattle, Boston (USA), Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur. Funded by the British Academy and the Nuffield Foundation, the central concern of this research has been to examine the effectiveness and outcomes of growth management in different national and regional contexts. This research has opened up new research agendas on growth coalitions and the politics of collective provision.

A second strand of his research focuses on the implications of climate change and climate policy for urban and regional governance. He is particularly interested in the impact of the carbon calculus on policy and investment decisions. This formed the basis of a recent British Academy funded project on ‘Carbon value change and policy choices in local governance’.


While A (2016) Who writes for Planning Theory & Practice and why?. Planning Theory and Practice, 17(3), 319-322.

Sturge D, Sobotta D, Howell RJ, While A & Lou J (2015) A hybrid actuator disc e Full rotor CFD methodology for modelling the effects of wind turbine wake interactions on performance. Journal of Renewable Energy, 80, 525-537.

While A (2014) Editorial matters. Planning Theory & Practice, 15(4), 447-450.

Sturge D, While A & Howell RJ (2013) Engineering and Energy Yield The Missing Dimension of Wind Turbine Assessment. Energy Policy. View this article in White Rose Research Online

While A & Whitehead M (2013) Cities, Urbanisation and Climate Change. Urban Studies, 50(7), 1325-1331.

While A, Gibbs D & Jonas AEG (2013) The competition state, city-regions, and the territorial politics of growth facilitation. Environment and Planning A, 45(10), 2379-2398.

While A (2012) The future of sustainable cities: critical reflections. AREA, 44(3), 391-392.

While A (2012) Resisting the Growth Clamp. Planning Theory & Practice, 13(4), 503-506.

Leary J, While AH & Howell RJ (2012) Locally Manufactured Micro Wind Turbines for Rural Electrification: A Developing Countries Perspective.. Energy Policy, 43(0), 173-183.

While A & Short M (2011) Place narratives and heritage management: the modernist legacy in Manchester. AREA, 43(1), 4-13.

Jonas AEG, Gibbs D & While A (2011) The new urban politics as a politics of carbon control. Urban Studies, 48(12), 2537-2554.

While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs D (2010) From sustainable development to carbon control: Eco-state restructuring and the politics of urban and regional development. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35(1), 76-93.

Jonas AEG, While AH & Gibbs DC (2010) Managing infrastructural and service demands in new economic spaces: The new territorial politics of collective provision. Regional Studies, 44(2), 183-200.

Pendlebury J, Short M & While A (2009) Urban World Heritage Sites and the problem of authenticity. Cities, 26(6), 349-358.

Tait M & While A (2009) Ontology and the conservation of built heritage. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27(4), 721-737.

While A (2008) Climate change and planning: Carbon control and spatial regulation. Town Planning Review, 79(1), vii-xiii.

While A (2007) The state and the controversial demands of cultural built heritage: modernism, dirty concrete, and postwar listing in England. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(4), 645-663.

Gibbs DC, While AH & Jonas AEG (2007) Governing nature conservation: The European Union Habitats Directive and conflict around estuary management. Environment and Planning A, 39(2), 339-358.

While A (2006) Modernism vs Urban Renaissance: Negotiating Post-war Heritage in English City Centres. Urban Studies, 43(13), 2399-2419.

Jonas AEG, While A & Gibbs DC (2004) State modernisation and local strategic selectivity after Local Agenda 21: evidence from three northern English localities. Policy & Politics, 32(2), 151-168.

While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs D (2004) The environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for the urban ‘sustainability;fix’ in Manchester and Leeds. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(3), 549-569.

While A, Jonas AEG & Gibbs DC (2004) Unblocking the City? Growth Pressures, Collective Provision, and the Search for New Spaces of Governance in Greater Cambridge, England. Environment and Planning A, 36(2), 279-304.

While A (2003) Locating art worlds: London and the making of Young British art. Area, 35(3), 251-263.

While A & Bruff G (2001) Filling the gaps in redundancy support: Lessons from Leeds. Regional Studies, 35(4), 363-367.

While A & Haughton G (2001) Globalization, state restructuring and innovation in European water management systems: Reflections from England and Wales. EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES, 9(6), 721-737.

Haughton G, Jones M, Peck J, Tickell A & While A (2000) Labour market policy as flexible welfare: prototype employment zones and the new workfarism. Regional Studies, 34, 669-680.

While A, Littlewood S & Whitney D (2000) A new space for sustainable development? Regional environmental governance in the North West and the West Midlands of England. Town Planning Review, 71(4), 395-413.

Haughton G & While A (1999) From Corporate City to Citizens City?: Urban Leadership After Local Entrepreneurialism in the United Kingdom. Urban Affairs Review, 35(1), 3-23.

Littlewood S & While A (1997) A new Agenda for governance? Agenda 21 and the prospects for holistic local decision making. Local Government Studies, 23(4), 111-123.

Taylor Buck N & While A () Competitive urbanism and the limits to smart city innovation: the UK Future Cities initiative. Urban Studies. View this article in White Rose Research Online

Tait MA & While A () Exeter and the question of Thomas Sharp’s physical legacy. Planning Perspectives: an international journal of history, planning and the environment, 24(1), 77-97.

While A (2014) Carbon regulation and low-carbon urban restructuring In Hodson M & Marvin S (Ed.), After Sustainable Cities? (pp. 41-58). London: Routledge.

Leary J, Howell RJ, While A, Chiroque J & Pinedo C (2012) Post-installation Analysis of Locally Manufactured Small Wind Turbines: Case Studies in Peru. 3rd IEEE International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies, ICSET 2012 (pp 396-401). Kathmandu, 24 September 2012 – 27 September 2012.

While A (2010) The carbon calculus and transitions in urban politics and political theory. Cities and Low Carbon Transitions (pp 42-53)

While A & Pendlebury J (2008) Modern movement conservation as progressive practice: Byker and british welfare state housing. Proceedings of the 10th International DOCOMOMO Conference – The Challenge of Change: Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement (pp 55-60)

Gibbs D, Jonas A & While A (2002) Changing governance structures and the environment: economy–environment relations at the local and regional scales. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Vol. 4(2) (pp 123-138)

While A (2010) Planning for Climate Change: Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation for Spatial Planners. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY & PLANNING, 12(2), 223-224.

While A (2009) Three Decades of Enterprise Culture: Entrepreneurship, Economic Regeneration and Public Policy. URBAN STUDIES, 46(8), 1749-1751.

While A (2008) The practice of modernism: modern architects and urban transformation, 1954-1972. URBAN MORPHOLOGY, 12(1), 65-67.

While A (2008) Culture, urbanism and planning.. CULTURAL GEOGRAPHIES, 15(4), 521-522.

While A (2005) Cosmopolis II. Mongrel cities in the 21st century.. PROGRESS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, 29(3), 402-404.

While A (2003) Devolution in practice: Public policy differences within the UK. REGIONAL STUDIES, 37(8), 872-873.

While A (2003) City of revolution: Restructuring Manchester. URBAN STUDIES, 40(10), 2106-2107.