I contribute to environmental ethics, and in economic philosophy to study of the limits of market economy.
Our research at Manchester is on monetary, non-monetary, and participatory methods of valuation of environmental and other non-commodity goods. It is part of the GHIA project, which investigates the importance of so-called green and blue infrastructure in cities: the trees lining streets, parks, woodland, allotments, canals, and rivers. Social decisions about these things are often made by first evaluating them with money. Often this allows decision-makers to draw the conclusion that trees and forests ought to be removed to make way for economically more valuable development. There are many problems with this method of valuation. We are working to state clearly what its limits are, and to develop and apply non-monetary methods. Such methods often also have more scope for the participation of citizens in decsion-making.