Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Dr Matthew Wargent

Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development

Ysgol Daearyddiaeth a Chynllunio

+44 (0)29 2087 5281
Room 1.52, Adeilad Morgannwg, Rhodfa’r Brenin Edward VII, Caerdydd, CF10 3WA
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


My research interests centre on the governance, planning, and development of urban space, with a particular interest in public participation, neighbourhoods, expertise, and privatisation. I have a keen interest in planning theory, and seek to demonstrate the value of theory in both my research and teaching.

I joined Cardiff as Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development in October 2021.



  • PhD Sociology, University of Sheffield, 2017
  • MA Sociology and Management, University of Essex, 2012
  • BA Social Policy and Sociology, University of Sheffield, 2011

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement, Royal Town Planning Institute Research Excellence Awards (2019)

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

  • Royal Town Planning Institute (Associate)
  • Advance HE (Associate Fellow)
  • Regional Studies Association
  • Town and Country Planning Association

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

  • 2021 - present: Lecturer in Urban Planning and Development, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2018 - 2021: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Reading, UK
  • 2017/18: Research Fellow, University College London, UK










I contribute to a range of modules across the School. In 2021/22, I will be teaching on:

  • Governing Urban and Regional Dynamics
  • Planning and Real Estate
  • Space & Place: International Planning Practice

My research focuses on the governance and planning of urban space. I am interested in the array of actors drawn into governance processes, the knowledge they draw upon, and how decisions are made within the context of complex power relations across different spatial scales. Much of my research explores the political nature of planning policy and urban development across three themes:

(i) Participation, politics and neighbourhoods

I am interested in the politics of public participation, the role of communities in securing just outcomes, and what citizen experiences can teach us about how urban space is governed. Previous projects have explored the role of conflict in community-led planning, building on the work of Chantal Mouffe, and the possibilities of co-opting governance spaces, drawing on governmentality theory. I have a particular interest in neighbourhood planning, both in its informal and statutory forms, and how it intersects with the growing digitalisation of planning and emergent concepts such as low-traffic and 20-minute neighbourhoods. A recent report commissioned by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the impacts of Neighbourhood Planning in England can be found here.

(ii) Private expertise in urban governance and planning

My interests here concern the growing role of private sector expertise in the governance and planning of urban space. I am interested in the role of consultants both within the (local) state and between local communities, development interests, and the planning system. Recent projects have explored the historical role of consultants in the development of the planning discipline, the use of privately produced evidence in plan-making, how recent planning reforms have created new markets for consultant use within the state, and how consultants mediate community inputs to the planning system.

(iii) The future of planning

This cross-cutting research interest concerns the challenges facing professional planners in both the UK and across the globe. Despite significant growth and diversification of urban planning activity, the challenges it seeks to combat - from climate change to housing shortages - continue to grow. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the urban outcomes planning seeks to shape has deepended and the profession faces diminishing public trust. My research in this area has focused on the attempts of professional planners to mediate changes to the statutory planning system and the politics of ongoing reform. You can read a series of essays on this subject in Planning Theory & Practice.


Prospective students

I welcome enquiries for doctoral supervision from students with an interest in any of the topics listed on my research page. Please contact me if you would like to discuss a potential project.

Current students

  • Esteban Rocha, Participatory Initiatives in Urban Planning: Conceptual Integration and Empirical Evidence from Emerging and Developed Countries (University of Reading)