James White PhD 2013

Current Work:  Assistant Professor, Urban Design, Glasgow University                                                      

I am currently the Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Urban Design at Glasgow University in Scotland, UK. Before attending SCARP (2007 - 2013), I had completed an MA in Urban Design and a BSc in City and Regional Planning at Cardiff University in Wales, UK.

Studying at SCARP exposed me to new and innovative ways of understanding, theorising and practicing planning. The PhD combined challenging coursework with a supportive environment to test and critique ideas. I learnt a great deal about the art of written communication and the crucial importance of using deep and rigorous research methods to challenge existing theories. My time at SCARP was also greatly enhanced by opportunities to teach and interact with Masters and undergraduate students.

During my five years at UBC,  I made friends and colleagues for life. I have no doubt that it was the quality and rigour of the PhD program that helped me secure a tenure-track position even before the completion of my degree. SCARP equipped me with the skills to ‘hit the ground running’ in my research and teaching endeavours, as well as imparting upon me the importance of working not only within academia but also sharing ideas with the wider planning community.

My recent published work explores the role of design competitions in urban design decision making and, in particular, the challenges associated with involving the general public in expert-led design processes. Forthcoming work to be published in the Journal of Urban Design looks at design governance at the city-wide scale and explores how innovative design practices can be integrated into planning processes. In addition to my academic work, I run an urban film series at the University of Glasgow and have recently helped launched a ‘young urbanist’ network in Scotland for recent graduates and students to meet informally and share ideas.