Researchers at UCD


Arthur Parkinson

Lecturer / Assistant Professor

School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy
Planning and Environmental Policy Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7162717


Arthur Parkinson is a Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, and is programme coordinator of the MSc Urban Design and Planning. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Studies (2001), and an MSc in Urban Design (2004), both from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and completed a PhD in planning at UCD in 2015. He is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and is accredited by the RIAI as a Conservation Architect (Grade II).

Arthur's research interests are in three principal areas: (1) the role of competing values in design, planning, and conservation policy and practice; (2) innovative methods for stakeholder interaction in planning, design and conservation policy-making and practice; and (3) policy responses to shifting economic conditions in historic urban cores. He was previously engaged in research examining shifts in the management of historic urban cores in Ireland in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008, in the Project entitled 'A Sustainable Future for the Historic Urban Core' (SHUC). For more details on these, see under the 'Research' tab, above.

His doctoral thesis was completed under the UCD PhD Programme in Sustainable Development, a Graduate Research Education Programme funded by the Irish Research Council, and was supervised by Prof. Mark Scott and Dr. Declan Redmond. Arthur has presented this and related research at a number of major international conferences and published his findings in leading peer-reviewed international journals. Prior to commencing PhD research, he worked for ten years in professional practice in the fields of architectural conservation and urban design, in both Ireland and Scotland. Arthur has designed, coordinated and delivered undergraduate and graduate lecture and studio-based modules in urban and rural design, spatial planning, and local planning.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2013.
Title: PhD Programme in Sustainable Development Studentship Award (Graduate Research Education Programme)
Year: 2003.
Title: Shortlisted for Urban Design Award (RIAS Scottish Student Awards for Architecture)


Association: Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Function/Role: Conservation Architect (Grade II)
Association: Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), Function/Role: Member
Association: Association of Critical Heritage Studies, Function/Role: Member
Association: European Urban Research Association, Function/Role: Member


Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Employer: Consarc Design Group
Position: Architect and Urban Designer
Employer: Deirdre McDermott and Associates
Position: Urban Designer and Architectural Assistant
Employer: Simpson and Brown Architects
Position: Architectural Assistant


Year 2015 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject: Conservation planning
Year 2008 Institution: Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland
Qualification: MRIAI Subject: Professional Practice
Year 2004 Institution: University of Strathclyde
Qualification: MSc Subject: Urban Design
Year 2001 Institution: University of Strathclyde
Qualification: BSc. (Hons) Subject: Architectural Studies



Book Chapters

Parkinson, A. (2018) 'Village design and distinctiveness' In: Scott, M., Gallent, N., and Gkartzios, M. (eds). Routledge Companion to Rural Planning. London: Routledge. [Details]
Parkinson, A. and Pendlebury, J. (2018) 'Conserving rural heritage: the cases of England and Ireland' In: Scott, M., Gallent, N., and Gkartzios, M. (eds). Routledge Companion to Rural Planning. London: Routledge. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Scott, M., Parkinson, A., Redmond, D., and Waldron, R. (2018) 'Placing Heritage in Entrepreneurial Urbanism: Planning, Conservation and Crisis in Ireland'. Planning Practice and Research, . [DOI] [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M., and Redmond, D. (2016) 'Competing discourses of built heritage: lay values in Irish conservation planning'. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22 (3):261-273. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M., and Redmond, D. (2017) 'Revalorising colonial era architecture and townscape legacies: memory, identity and place-making in Irish towns'. Journal of Urban Design, 22 (4):502-519. [DOI] [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M., and Redmond, D. (2016) 'Defining 'official' built heritage discourses within the Irish planning framework: insights from conservation planning as social practice'. European Planning Studies, 24 (2):277-296. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M., and Redmond, D. (2015) 'Negotiating post-colonial legacies: shifting conservation narratives and residual colonial built heritage in Ireland'. Town Planning Review, 86 (2):203-228. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]

Conference Publications

Parkinson, A; Scott, M (2017) Conservation and commemoration: lessons from Moore Street, Dublin Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference. Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world [Details]
Parkinson, A; Redmond, D; Scott, M; Waldron, R (2017) Conservation and crisis: insights from Ireland Changing Cities III [Details]
Parkinson, A; Scott, M; Redmond, D (2017) Understanding character: the case of heritage towns in Ireland All-Ireland Architectural Research Group Sixth Annual Conference Available Online [Details]
Parkinson, A; Scott, M; Redmond, D (2016) Contesting conservation-planning: insights from Ireland . In: Carola Hein eds. International Planning History Society Proceedings, 17th IPHS Conference, History-Urbanism-Resilience TU Delft, , 17-JUL-16 - 21-JUL-16 , pp.39-48 [DOI] [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M. and Redmond, D. (2014) Built Heritage at Ireland's Rural-Urban Interface AIARG Emerging Research [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M. and Redmond, D. (2013) Conservation and Consensus: Defining Expert Built Heritage Discourse in Ireland Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions:AESOP conference [Details]
Parkinson, A., Scott, M. and Redmond, D. (2013) Urbanity, Exclusionary Discourses and Built Heritage Policy in Ireland RC21 Resourceful Cities [Details]


Research Interests

Arthur's research lies at the interface between urban design, planning, architectural conservation, and critical heritage studies. His research examines the role of diverse forces in shaping the historic built environment, and the conflict that can result. It also seeks to develop the role of policy and practice in ameliorating this conflict, and in planning for, and designing in, the built environment more generally.

1. The role of competing values in design, planning, and conservation
Arthur's research interests in this area focuses on the role of competing values, in the areas of urban design, planning, conservation of built heritage, and cultural landscapes more widely. Competing values relating to the built environment play a key role in shaping conflict in planning and place-making processes, and therefore have implications for decision-making in both policy-making and practice. Research conducted to date has specifically examined the role of the competing discourses that underpin conflict in built heritage policy-making and conservation practice in the Irish small-town context. While professional and lay discourses are each characterised by competing knowledge claims, the research draws on the concepts of authorised heritage discourse, and lay discourses, to understand how certain priorities become institutionalised in policy, and are reflected in policy and practice outcomes, whilst other competing priorities can be downplayed or ignored. Research has made use of a dialectical-relational approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), whereby the discourse of different actors is constitutive of social practices - such as conservation planning. This involved adopting both 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspectives in the research: firstly, examination of the discourse of built heritage discourse at a national policy level; and secondly, exploration of the competing lay discourses that contribute to the shaping of conflict in built heritage policy and practice through case study examination of three small towns in Ireland. The results from research conducted in this area suggest that there is a need for innovative methods for involving the public in policymaking and practice. This leads on to the second key research area, outlined below.

2. Innovative methods for stakeholder interaction in design, planning, and conservation
Arthur's research is also concerned with exploring the novel application of visual methods (a) to gain a greater depth and breadth of information on contrasting meanings ascribed to the historic built environment by different groups in society, and (b) to stakeholder involvement in planning for, and design in, the historic built environment. Research conducted to date has explored the potential of photo-elicitation as a means of examining public values in relation to built heritage, specifically. Visual material was employed in the research as a means to break down barriers resulting from professional vocabulary, knowledge and power, and to more effectively examine public values in greater depth.

3. Policy responses to shifting economic conditions in historic urban cores
The third principal research area relates to the role that shifting economic conditions play in shaping historic urban cores. This research has two complimentary foci: (a) the ways in which built environment policy has responded to changed economic conditions, and the success or failure of this policy in meeting its objectives; and (b) resulting changes in patterns of land and building use, levels of building occupancy, and economic activity, over time. Current research in this regard examines these questions within the Irish context, prior and subsequent to the economic collapse of 2008, and takes into consideration broad planning responses, fiscal incentives, as well as conservation and heritage policy. This was recently undertaken through the project entitled 'A Sustainable Future for the Historic Urban Core' (SHUC), which involved teams in the UK, the Netherlands, as well as Ireland. SHUC was one of ten pilot projects approved under the Joint Heritage European Programme (JHEP), which coordinates the European Commission's Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage (JPICH).

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : The memorialisation of Moore Street: conservation and commemoration
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-16 / 31-OCT-18


Teaching Philosophy

Arthur's approach to teaching seeks to make the learning process as engaging as possible, to prompt critical thinking, and to foster students' development as independent researchers and practitioners. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, and to reflect and collaborate in both lecture and studio settings.

Developing as a Teacher

Arthur is committed to improving his knowledge and skills as a teacher through training courses both within and outside UCD. He recently attended a workshop on developing skills in provision of tutorials, seminars and other small group activities, provided by UCD Teaching and Learning. However, he has gained substantial experience in the teaching and assessment of students through design, coordination and delivery of a range of lecture and studio-based modules.