Professor James White


Prof James White is Co-Investigator at the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence.


Professor James White is Deputy Director and theme lead for “Place” at the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. He is based in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow where he is Professor of Planning and Urban Design and Deputy Head of Subject with responsibility for post-graduate education.

James studied City and Regional Planning (BSc) and Urban Design (MA) at Cardiff University before completing his doctoral studies in Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. At the University of Glasgow, he contributes to the post-graduate programmes in planning, housing and real estate where he teaches on the value of design and place in the creation of new homes and neighbourhoods.

James is interested in the theory and application of design governance in the context of sustainable housing and urban development. His research explores the tools and mechanisms that planners use to shape the built environment and enhance the design quality of new and existing places. At CaCHE, James led a major 2020 study of housing and neighbourhood design quality – Delivering design value: the housing design quality conundrum – which was sponsored by all four UK governments and the Royal Town PIanning Institute and has since been used for local authority design training in planning practice.

James’ current research focuses on place adaptation, high-rise residential development and design on the high street. He studies urban design and planning in domestic and international contexts, including the United Kingdom and Canada and has published widely in journals, including: Urban Studies; Environment and Planning B; Journal of Urban Affairs; Journal of Urban Design; and, Planning Theory and Practice. His recent book, co-authored with John Punter, Condoland: The Planning, Design, and Development of Toronto’s CityPlace, follows the planning and design of a high-rise residential mega-project in Toronto, Canada over thirty years and examines the design impacts of ‘vertical urbanisation’.

James actively engages in media discussions about planning and housing including for the BBC, CBC Canada and The Observer. He as a member of Glasgow’s urban design panel and was the 2023 chair of the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference. James is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Chartered Town Planner and a Member of the Urban Design Group.

Skip to content