School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Professor John Pendlebury

Professor of Urban Conservation



John Pendlebury is a town planner and urban conservationist with ten years practice experience before re-entering academia in 1996.


Research Interests

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:

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

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

Principal Investigator for ESRC CASE studentship with English Heritage (2006-2009) on heritage and areas of low housing demand

Principal Investigator for AHRC Collaborative studentship with Newcastle City Council (2006-2009) on characterising housing areas

Principal Investigator for ESRC CASE studentship 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:

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

Most of the publications listed can be accessed through 


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