Newcastle University (UNEW) is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, comprising 24 leading research institutions in the UK. Newcastle University has many staff who work on heritage from across a whole range of disciplines (including humanities, arts, social sciences, engineering, IT and medicine). We have an inclusive and interdisciplinary university wide research community (Heritage @ Newcastle) to connect this work, and bring multiple approaches to heritage into productive relation, to address the most critical and pressing questions about our relations with the past. The Newcastle University researchers involved in OpenHeritage are at the core of this university wide community.
Based in the School of Architecture Planning and Landscape (APL), they also draw on 70 years of pioneering research and education in town and country planning at Newcastle University. APL consistently strives to be a major player in research, teaching and consultancy, by innovating and capitalising on the unique juxtaposition of its main areas of interest: architecture, town and country planning, landscape and urban design. The School ethos is to balance creativity and practicality, experiment and scholarship.
Within the School the researchers are part of the Global Urban Research Unit (GURU), which primarily focuses on developing a better understanding of place and its potential transformation. GURU is a multidisciplinary team of about 30 core researchers and on average about 10 visiting scholars, from the fields of planning, heritage studies, geography, economics, sociology, anthropology and law. The centre has extensive international networks and is internationally recognised for its contributions to planning research, governance and urban studies, and for its engagement in societal challenges, public policy, community development and professional practices.
The OpenHeritage researchers specialise in heritage and urban governance, in-depth understanding of planning policy, policy practices, and conservation planning in international, national, and local contexts.
Professor Dr. John Pendlebury is a town planner and urban conservationist with ten years practice experience before re-entering academia in 1996. His research mostly falls within two broad themes. First, he undertakes historically focused work, principally on how historic cities have been planned in the past, particularly in the mid-C20, considering how the historic qualities of such cities were conceived and balanced with modernising forces. Second, he undertakes empirical and conceptual work on the interface between contemporary cultural heritage policy and other policy processes. He has extensive international experience.
Dr. Loes Veldpaus is an architect (MSc. 2007) who specialises in conservation planning and heritage management (PhD, 2015). She is a postdoctoral researcher and her work focuses on the past, present, and future of heritage management and local, national, and international conservation planning practices and policies. She is interested in the people who work in and on heritage; in innovating understandings of the process of heritage production; and what heritage is and what heritage does. From this perspective she works on reflexive collaborative practices with both global and local actors. She also teaches on conservation planning at both Newcastle University and Durham University.