Dr Ian Mell

Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Landscape Planning

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Ian joined the University of Manchester in 2017 from the University of Liverpool where he spent over four years working in the Department of Geography & Planning. 

Ian's career has included a variety of academic (BSc Northumbria, MSc Sussex, PhD Newcastle), practitioner and contract consultancy roles in the UK, Europe and more recently in India and China. These have enabled him to bring together Local Government and practical policy-making/delivery experiences into the teaching and research environment through a practical understanding of how policy is formed, how decision-making occurs, and how implementation is delivered. 

Aligning an understanding of these approaches to planning underpins Ian's work on urban greening, Green Infrastructure planning and landscape policy evaluations. This examines the relationship between policy and practice in the discussion, development and evaluation of urban greening. It also allows provides scope to evaluate the changing landscape of planning policy and its impacts upon the delivery of sustainable or meaningful places. ian's work focusses on a number of areas of urban greening including financing green space delivery, the role of perceptions in sustainable cities, and the influence of various actors on the decision-making process for environmental management. A part of this process is developing a better understanding of how rhetoric and delivery differ in the planning and management of cities. To ensure this draws from first hand experience Ian has  lived and worked in the USA and India for extended periods during my research career. This is extended through his research and teaching of how places are imagined or perceived and the impacts this has on the ways that people value landscapes.

Ian's recent work has included the UN Habitat/Saudi Government reforms of the Saudi Arabian planning system (2016-16), which has worked with key stakholders to rethink the ways in which planning is conceptualised and actioned in the Kingdom. The Interreg IVB Valuing Attractive Landscapes in the Urban Economy (VALUE, 2010-2012) project which aimed to establish an economic rationale for investing in urban green spaces. This research reflects on how green infrastructure is being positioned as one of the ‘go-to’ approach to planning for sustainable urban planning in the USA, India and China. Ian was also the recipient of a Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) Fellowship Grant with CEPT University (Ahmedabad, India) in 2014, which looked at the formation of ecologically resilient cities in rapidly urbanising contexts. Outside of academia Ian has experience of green infrastructure practice through working with advocacy organisations (Community Forests in North-East England, 2005-2008) and as a Green Infrastructure Development Officer in East Cambridgeshire (2009-2011) where he coordinated the delivery of the £1 million Ely Country Park Project and was a key strategic partners in the production of the the 2nd Cambridgeshire Green Infrastructure Strategy (Cambridgeshire Horizons, 2011). He was also a key author with Liverpool City Council of the Liverpool Green & Open Space Reveiew (2015-16) which assessed the nature of green space funding in Liverpool and started to identify where new sources of financial support could be located. 


PG Certificate in Certification of Professional Service (CPS), University of Liverpool (2015)

PhD Planning, Architecture and Landscape, University of Newcastle (2010)

MSc Social Research Methods (Human Geography), Univerrsity of Sussex (2003)

BSc Geography & Environmental Management, Northumbria University (2001)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Higher Education Academy (2015): Fellow

Landscape Institute (2009 onwards): Full Academic Member

Town and Country Planning Association (2012 onwards): Full member 

2016 to date

Landscape Institute Green Belt review group

2015 to date

Liverpool City Council Green & Open Space Review Board - Board Member for Mayoral Commission and key author of Interim and Final reports

2012 to date

TCPA/Defra UK Green Infrastructure Partnership members

External positions

Erasmus Mobility Scholar, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Dec 2016

Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Planning & Technology (CEPT)

1 Jun 201430 Sep 2100

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