Cliff has operated as a freelance consultant since 2004. He does research, authors reports and is a facilitator and trainer. While at Heriot-Watt University he was also involved in contract research.

He has worked on numerous projects:

  • With Spatial Foresight GmbH ( ) to deliver research-based reports for the ESPON Co-ordination Unit on European territorial development and policy.
  • With the Royal Town Planning Institute ( to deliver the UK National Contact Point for the ESPON 2013 programme. 
  • As an external expert for the Royal Town Planning Institute on transnational projects within the ESPON 2013 programme.
  • For the ESPON 2013 Co-ordination Unit as a peer reviewer on Sounding Boards for research projects.
  • On European Union INTERREG projects.
  • On other European projects.
  • On Commonwealth, international and global projects.
  • On UK projects.  
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 16:48

My recent newspaper articles

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I have had a number of columns published in The Scotsman, which is an Edinburgh-based national newspaper in Scotland. Though the articles are tagetted at that particular readership, the underlying issues are relevant in many other places, I believe. They raise questions about the purpose of planning and who sets the agenda.

"Edinburgh is now a city effectively run by tourist industry" appeared on 30 July 2019. It explains the extent to which growth in tourism is, and is likely to continue to be, an international phenomenon. However, Edinburgh, like some other historic cities, has been identified as facing "overtourism". The article exposes how the city council has agreed to help to implement a tourism growth strategy written by the tourist industry and Scottish Government agencies. This raises fundamental questions about local democracy. You can access the article here.  

I have commented on the Scottish Planning Bill (now an Act) in a blog which you can read here. On 2 July I had an article in The Scotsman making similar points. You can read it here. It points to the extent to which vestd interests fromthe development industry, along with Scottish Government attempts to reduce the investment of resources into planning have shaped the legislation. At an earlier stage of theprogress f theBill I also commented, see here.

Housing was the theme of an article published on 28 May, which you can read here. It is linked to a longer paper that is part of the Cockburn Association's Our Unique City initiative. Click here to see that. This followed an article on 21 May announcing Our Unique City - to see that article click here.

The lack of joined up planning for the valley at the centre of Edinburgh was the theme of my 7 May article, which you can see here.

Read 4980 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 August 2019 09:24

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