Dr Adam Barker

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning

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Research interests

Primary areas of research focus:

-Planning for climate change: Green Infrastructure (GI); coastal risk; urban and regional flooding; environmental adaptation.

-Environmental assessment: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Sustainability Appraisal (SA).

-Integrated environmental management (IEM): coastal and marine planning, protected areas, landscape systems.


On-going Research Projects:

European Union (EU) Urban Innovative Actions (UIA): IGNITION- Innovative financing and delivery of natural climate solutions in Greater Manchester:
IGNITION is a 3 year study which draws on new approaches to environmental economics in order to respond to extreme forms of climatic change.  The project aims to increase Greater Manchester’s coverage of urban Green Infrastructure (GI) by 10% before 2038.  Central to the approach is the development of innovative business models and financing mechanisms geared to the attraction of investment in GI based approaches.  The project is being led by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) along with 11 other city partners.

European Union (EU) Horizon 2020: GROW GREEN- Green Cities for Climate and Water Resilience, Sustainable Economic Growth, Healthy Citizens and Environment: 
This is 5 year international research project which seeks to establish and demonstrate innovative and replicable approaches for the use of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) in addressing urban flood risk, heat stress and other climatic challenges. The research centres on a range of well-established but growing European cities and will include case studies from Manchester (UK), Valencia (Spain), and Wroclaw (Poland). Wider international replicability will be evaluated through case studies based in Wuhan (China). The research brings together stakeholders from the public sector (academia and local government), the private sector (environmental consultancy) and local communities. 

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): Green Growth: Increasing the Resilience of Cities Through The Delivery of Green Infrastructure Based Solutions: 
This is an 18 month research project which seeks to explore the institutional dynamics of decision making for green infrastructure in urban areas. The study places an emphasis on promoting the uptake of scientific knowledge amongst GI stakeholders. The project involves academic leads based at the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield along with members of the public and private sector.  Key project partners include: Manchester City Council, Red Rose Forest, Building Design Partnership BDP), Business in the Community (BiTC), and the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC).

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): Identifying and prioritising nature based climate change adaptation measures for addressing future flood risk: creating a systematic evidence map:
The purpose of this project is to enhance national resilience to climate change through the evaluation of evidence and approaches linked to Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to future flood risk.  The project is rooted in both the natural and social-sciences and will link directly with practice based actors.  Through the identification of current barriers and obstacles to flood risk management, the research will identify both future research needs and proposed policy adjustments.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA): 
This 3 year project aims to develop a better understanding of the benefits of urban GI for older people and how GI greening projects can be used to support healthy ageing in urban areas. The project is multi-disciplinary and will place older people at the heart of a process of co-production. The project is being undertaken with local public sector organisations, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University.  

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Eco-Urbanisation: Promoting Sustainable Development in Metropolitan-Regional Planning in China: 
This 3 year international collaborative project aims to significantly advance our understanding of the dynamic interactive processes between urban development, resource consumption and environmental impacts. The research centres on the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Metropolitan Region (BTHMR) and is being undertaken in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fudan University.