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Prof Gavin Parker

Professor of Planning Studies, University of Reading

Gavin is Professor of Planning Studies at The University of Reading. A fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute Professor Parker maintains a strong research interest in citizenship, participation and governance in land, planning and development. He is interested in the relationship between land and people and considerations of property rights and conflict over land use. This interest spans the urban and rural divide and a number of policy fields. He has maintained a thread of research that is concerned with interactions and tensions between actors involved in planning and development throughout his research career. This has been manifest in the body of work he has produced on participation in planning and on neighbourhood planning in England amongst other topic areas.

Gavin has been actively researching community and neighbourhood planning with numerous reports and publications that have been shaping policy agendas in this area. He has also been exploring the changing nature of planning and the, profession, including the shifting roles of the public, private and third sector.

Gavin is also Chair of the New Forest National Park Authority. He chaired the Community Council for Berkshire from 2006 to 2011. Gavin has also developed a particular interest in land use, community and policy in Japan and he has been a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo and held funded visiting fellow posts there as well as at Tsukuba and Seikei Universities.

Amongst numerous academic and policy oriented publications Gavin has authored five books: Citizenships, Contingency and the Countryside (Routledge, 2002); the well-received text Key Concepts in Planning (Sage, 2012) with Joe Doak; Enabling Participatory Planning (2018, Policy Press) with Emma Street; and Neighbourhood Planning in Practice (Lund Humphries, 2019) with Kat Salter and Matt Wargent which won the RTPI research prize for public engagement in 2019. The latest book Contemporary Planning Practice: skills, specialisms and knowledge, edited with Emma Street was published by Macmillan in 2021.


  • –present
    Chair of Planning Studies, University of Reading