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 five 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 consultancy roles in the UK, Europe and internationally . These enable 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 examining the relationship between policy/practice in the discussion, development and evaluation of urban greening. It also 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. Part of this process is developing a better understanding of how rhetoric and delivery differ in the planning and management of cities. 


Ian has received funding from NERC, the Valuing Nature project, RTPI, Defra/Natural England and the Newton Fund to support. He has also worked with UN Habitat and the Landscape Research Group.    


Outside of academia Ian has experience of green infrastructure practice working with 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 an author of the Liverpool Green & Open Space Review (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

Editorial Board - Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

2020 → …

Editor (Special Issues on GI/Greening Cities)

2019 → …

Erasmus Mobility Scholar, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Dec 2016

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

1 Jun 201430 Sep 2100


  • Green Infrastructure, Landscape Planning, Environmental Policy, Landscape Perceptions, Planning Policy

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2010 - Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture, Planning & Landscape , Newcastle University
  • 2003 - Master in Science, MSc Social Research Methods (Human Geography) , University of Sussex
  • 2001 - Bachelor of Science, Geography & Environmental Management , Northumbria University

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