We are very pleased to announce that Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Director of Newcastle City Futures and Chair of Town Planning, Newcastle University, UK has been appointed the new chair of the RSA.

Professor Tewdwr-Jones commented “I am delighted and very honoured to have been elected Chairman of the Regional Studies Association. The RSA has demonstrated its significant and highly influential role shaping the analysis and understanding of cities and regions over the last 50 years.

At a time when cities and regions the world over are facing a number of challenges covering climate change, poor air quality, lagging economies, polarised housing, community deprivation, inadequate infrastructure, poor public services, and the onset of smart technology; The RSA provides an essential forum to discuss these issues, promote new research, and share knowledge in a mutually supportive environment. I look forward to contributing to these important debates and new ideas in the months and years ahead.” Professor Tewdwr-Jones, November 2017

Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones is Director of Newcastle City Futures and the fifth holder of Newcastle University's 1946 Established Chair of Town Planning and a member of the Global Urban Research Unit at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and one of the leading authorities on place and policy, urban planning and governance, land use, historic and contemporary urban change, and community participation in places.

Formerly employed at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning at UCL where he worked with the late Professor Sir Peter Hall, Mark is at ease discussing the past, present and future of places with architects, planners, geographers, scientists and engineers, as well as with businesses, communities, governments and filmmakers.  He became an Academic Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011 and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2013.  

He has produced 14 books and given over 300 speeches worldwide. He holds a passionate interest in inter-disciplinary research internationally, Mark currently serves as Chairman of the Regional Studies Association, and has recently completed two stints as Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of New South Wales, and he has been the recipient of distinguished visiting fellowships at Berkeley, Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Guadalajara, Nijmegen, Pretoria, Seoul, Singapore, Dublin, Vienna and Malta. He leads the Foresight Future of Cities International Research Network comprising Newcastle, Hong Kong, Sydney and Groningen, and is a member of the German Academy of Spatial Research and Planning City Regions Planning and Governance Research Network.  He is an active member of the Horizon 2020 Accomplissh project on the impact of social science and humanities on places and was a lead authority on the OECD Governance of Land Use initiative.

He was previously UK Government Advisor on planning, land use and housing issues to ministers in UK Government, the Welsh Government and Scottish Government, and served as a lead expert for the Government Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington’s Foresight project on Land Use Futures; more recently he has been involved in Sir Mark Walport's Future of Cities Foresight project. He was also a lead expert on the NHS NICE project on spatial planning and health, advised the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, served on the ESRC CASE Award Panel and RTPI General Assembly, has given evidence to select committees, and was a panel member for DFiD's Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. 

The RSA’s previous Chair (2012-2017) Professor Andrew Beer, Dean, Research & Innovation at UniSA Business School, Australia (photo above – second left-hand side) was thanked at the 2017 President’s Award for his stellar work for the Association. Professor Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK (photo above- second right-hand side) President of the RSA said in his thank you address at the President’s event:

Professor Beer worked tirelessly to promote, support and extend the activities and academic reach of the Association, attending conferences and events across the globe, chairing the Association’s Board and strategy meetings, and always encouraging young aspiring academics and members. He has been instrumental in shaping and implementing the development plans of the Association over the past five years. And all this with wisdom, great enthusiasm and his inimitable Aussie wit. The Association owes Andrew a massive vote of thanks and gratitude.”

Professor Beer will remain an active RSA Board member and was appointed Vice Chair and Chair of the RSA’s Publications Committee.