Meet the expert

Professor Alan Harding - Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice

 Portrait of Professor Alan Harding

Alan is the inaugural Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice.  The Institute researches how we can secure a prosperous, healthy, sustainable and vibrant future for places whilst managing the impacts of global economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges on them. It seeks to combine excellent policy research with an engaged approach to deliver high-quality projects which have real impact.  

Alan is leading the Institute’s work around economic change, one of three initial priority policy areas, alongside Health & Well-Being and Governance & Democracy.

Alan has played a prominent role in rethinking the relationship between urban and regional policy and governance and the role of key urban centres in spatial development patterns. This has involved acting as policy adviser to OECD, UK Government, and most recently to Greater Manchester’s Commission for the New Economy on the Manchester Independent Economic Review.

He is engaged in projects funded by the ESRC and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the European Spatial Observatory Network which – collectively – explore why the world’s larger, more dense, diverse and well-connected cities have shown a greater capacity to adjust to today’s rapid and profound economic transformations. The Institute’s work on Economic Change will take this work forward, examining what drives the growing disparities between metropolitan areas across the globe and what implications this carries across a range of policy areas including enterprise, infrastructure, science and knowledge-led industries.