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Associate Professor in Spatial Planning and Government, UCL

Ben Clifford is Associate Professor in Spatial Planning and Government at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL). Ben is a geographer-planner with research interests centred on the modernisation of the state, implementation of public sector reform, planning governance and policy, public engagement and the changing spaces of professionalism in an age of neoliberalising government.

Born and raised in the ‘edge city’ of Croydon, Ben was educated at the University of St Andrews, King's College London and UCL. He has been involved on research relating to the implementation of planning reform in England, devolution and planning policy in the UK and Ireland, planning for nationally significant infrastucture, local authority housing delivery, permitted development and planning deregulation, and the private sector, outsourcing and the public interest in planning.

Ben teaches on the UK planning system and critical debates in planning practice. In addition to his teaching and research duties, Ben serves as the Programme Director for the MSc Spatial Planning degree course and as the Masters Tutor for the Bartlett School of Planning.


  • 2019–present
    Associate professor, University College London
  • 2017–2019
    Senior lecturer, University College London
  • 2009–2017
    Lecturer, University College London


  • 2011 
    University College London, PGCLTHE
  • 2009 
    University of London, PhD
  • 2004 
    University of St Andrews, BSc (Hons)

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow Royal Geographical Society
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • Member Chartered Management Institute
  • Member Royal Town Planning Institute