Academic profile


Kelvin is the Specialist Adviser on planning policy to the House of Commons Levelling Up, Housing, Communities Select Committee and on development and the environment to the House of Lords Built Environment Committee.


He is a Senior Lecturer (part-time) at the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Brighton and is Chair of the RTPI Partnership Board at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).


He is Chair of the Board of Brighton Housing Trust, having previously been a member of the Board of Trustees of Shelter for six years.


He was formerly an Examining Inspector dealing with major infrastructure projects for the Planning Inspectorate and previously Director of Policy and Research and then the Chief Policy Adviser to the Royal Town Planning Institute.


He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, of the Royal Town Planning Institute and of the Royal Society of Arts and he is a 'Distinguished Professional' Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.





Kelvin teaches on M.Phil. module PGR01 – Urban & Environmental Planning – and on Tripos Paper 10 – The Built Environment – and Paper 14 – Planning Policy & Practice.



Research interests


Kelvin’s research interests include the relationship between planning law and planning policy, planning ethics, community involvement in planning, affordable housing, lessons from planning history, the interface between planning and politics, and the boundary between state control and individual freedom in planning.





Kelvin MacDonald (2022) ‘Enemies of the People? Judicial Review and Policy Setting: Can they be separated?’ Journal of Planning and Environment Law: Occasional Papers No.49, December, pp.51-71

Kelvin MacDonald (2021) ‘A history of ambivalence – public participation in six quotes’, Town and Country Planning, Vol. 90, No. 7/8, July/August

Kelvin MacDonald (2014) ‘Making the Past - Delivering the Future’, Journal of Planning & Environment Law, Occasional Papers No.42, December

Kelvin MacDonald (2014) ‘100 Years in a 100 Documents’ The Planner, October

Kelvin MacDonald (2014) ‘Professional Planning 100 years on – Have we emancipated communities?’, Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 15, No. 1, March



Current PhD students


Jill Campion





Planning and public policy


Research Centres


Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research

Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy