Key questions underpinning this fellowship:

1. What does good green infrastructure actually look in planning policy and decision-making processes?

2. How can we translate existing NERC and other research science associated with GI cumulatively into additional pathways to impact to address key policy and practice challenges and opportunities? 

3. How can we demonstrate and evaluate the added value of GI in planning policies and interventions?

4. How can we change/influence behaviour(s) of key actors in the planning arena regarding their valuation and use of GI in policy making and practice?

My role as a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow

As a knowledge exchange fellow I see my role as a catalyst integrating multiple planning policy and practice viewpoints across key stakeholders who use/shape the planning system.

These participants will co-produce the project's outputs within a managed process that is developmental, pragmatic and peer reviewed; delivering a suite of guidance, tools and resources that mainstream GI in policy and decision making thereby embracing the government’s economic growth and quality of life agendas.

Latest News

November 6th 2017

Delighted to have led a session at the recent Ecosystem Knowledge Network event: Housing Infrastructure and Natural Capital at the University of Cranfield 30th October 2017.  

A key summary of the final discussion session I led will shortly be available on this web site. An important disconnect was spotted between the academic focus on producing new tools and toolkits versus the practitioners' need for vetted tools that can deliver.  Is there a need for a tool benchmark perhaps? 

Latest Blog


What Kind of National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) do we Need

On Monday 5th March 2018 the revised and much changed NPPF will be released for consultation. Here is my take on what it needs to contain.


NERC science lies at the heart of realising the bold ambitions of the 25 year environmental plan green infrastructure components

The publication of the 25 year environment plan is very much welcome albeit long overdue


Latest Outputs

Impact pathways for English planning DRAFT briefing note

Maximising Impact pathways for English planning DRAFT briefing note for environmental researchers


Academic and Practitioner surveys on green infrastructure priorities and challenges

Academic/Practitioner preworkshop surveys on green infrastructure priorities and challenges to inform Feb 17th workshop


Professor Alister Scott

Professor Alister Scott

Alister is a geographer, chartered planner (MRTPI) and “pracademic” who works at disciplinary and professional boundaries and edges in dealing with interdisciplinary problems. His career has encompassed both policy and academic positions. He has just started a NERC knowledge exchange fellow post on mainstreaming green infrastructure. At Northumbria University he provides leadership to a multidisciplinary research theme on Bioeconomy with particular interest in realising the value(s) of nature.

Alister's research addresses “messy” problems concerning policy and decision making across both built and natural environments. He has published over 45 peer review papers and secured grants in excess of £2 million. But he has also produced over 100 popular articles, policy brief videos, web portals, plays and even game boards and has written regularly for national and regional newspapers as part of knowledge exchange work. Furthermore, his research model involves co-developing research projects with policy and practice communities who then become embedded as members of research teams to maximise impact and social learning.

Current projects in addition to the NERC fellowship work include testing and assessing a natural capital planning tool in different planning contexts (NERC); developing citizen led innovation pas part of the Birmingham Urban Living pilot project (RCUK and Innovate UK) and using game based formats to help improve participatory processes and outcomes including working with the RTPI to produce a game to enthuse children about the role of the planner (ESRC). He is also working with several planning authorities to help mainstream the ecosystem approach in local plans (Northumbria). For more information see Alister's page at the University of Northumbria.