Key questions underpinning this fellowship:

1. What does good green infrastructure actually look like 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.

The Project

Green Infrastructure (GI) has emerged as a multifunctional planning concept with potential to address urban planning challenges as "natural" assets. There is an weighty academic and policy literature in support of this.

However, to date GI potential has not been effectively mainstreamed into planning policy, practice and decision-making processes due to a lack of evidence quantifying its claimed multiple benefits; a lack of suitable delivery mechanisms and declining local authority resources due to budgetary cuts.


Latest Blog


Making the Green Belt more productive

Making the Green Belt more productive


Should Britain build on its green belt?

Should Britain build on its green belt


Latest Outputs

Response to the Consultation on the Environmental Principles and Governance after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union

DRAFT Defra Consultation Response on Environmental Principles and Governance


What health metrics do we need to better value green spaces?

This report of the GIP workshop 'Green Spaces, Healthy Places' asks the question: "What health metrics do we need to better value green spaces?"


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.