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Professor Alan Townsend

Associate Director (Labour Market)

Professor (and Councillor) Alan Townsend, MA, MRTPI retired as the Director of the International Centre for Regional & Development Studies in the University of Durham in 2005, and continued as Emeritus Professor. He is Vice-Chair of Bishop Auckland College, and of Greater Willington Town Council. He is one of relatively few people who have worked extensively in both physical and economic planning.

Alan has a long career as a Lecturer in Economic Geography and previous spells in Government Regional Offices and Planning Consultancy. He has been involved with the National Online Manpower Information System, University of Durham for more than 30 years, and has written extensively on labour market matters and unemployment in academic journals including the Northern Economic Review and in five single or jointly written books.

He is one of relatively few people who have worked extensively in both physical and economic planning. Alan is active in the analysis of both Localism and City Regions, has contributed to Planning in research, in consultancy and as Chair of Planning Committees and has commented extensively on current government changes to planning, through papers in “Town & Country Planning” . He also submitted evidence to the Select Committees of the House of Commons on both the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies and the establishment of Local Enterprise Partnerships |(LEPs).

Alan was recently elected to the Policy Committee of the Town & Country Planning Association. Some of his recent publications including:

  • The fluctuating record of economic regeneration in England‟s second-order city regions, 1984-2007 (with A.G. Champion), Urban Studies, 2011.
  • Can Local Enterprise Partnerships fill the strategic void?, (with L. Pugalis) Town & Country Planning, 2010.
  • A novel approach to spatial development: England dismantles its regions! (with L. Pugalis) a paper presented at Regional Studies association Annual International Conference, 2011.