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Prof Alister Scott


Department: Geography and Environmental Sciences

Alister -Scott ,-Northumbria -University -web-Alister's research addresses messy problems concerning policy and decision making across built and natural environments. He has published over 40 peer review papers and secured grants in excess of £2 million. Crucially he has developed a research model that is policy-led and involves policy and practice communities embedded as members of research teams he has led. Recent projects include the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme Managing environmental change at the rural urban fringe and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment follow on programme looking at new tools to improve policy and decision making. An ESRC  project has just concluded looking at developing a game board resource kit to improve the way public engagement can take place.

His current work includes a NERC grant on green infrastructure working with various planning authorities on a natural capital planning tool that values ecosystem services in a range of development scenarios and a Research Council UK grant working with a large interdisciplinary team on Birmingham as a pilot as part of the Urban Living programme.

His teaching covers a wide range of governance subjects straddling urban and rural domains and is based on real life projects working in partnership with community groups and professional bodies. He was awarded the first ever university of Wales award in 2002 for excellence in teaching and he is passionate about the need for teaching excellence that both challenges and motivates.    

Alisters research leadership skills have been recognised with the RTPI award for planning excellence in 2012 and his teaching, research and industry engagement skills with the award as BCU staff member of the year in 2013.     

In moving to Northumbria, Alister is keen to build his research and teaching at the interface of the built and natural environment and help to embed the value of nature more effectively into policy and decision making.

@profalister (twitter)

Campus Address

Ellison Building
City Campus

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Mainstreaming the Environment: Exploring pathways and narratives to improve policy and decision‐making, Scott, A., Holtby, R., East, H., Lannin, A. 10 Nov 2021, In: People and Nature
  • A Planning Policy Assessment Method for Aotearoa/New Zealand Based on Ecosystem Services, Ransom, M., Scott, A. Dec 2020, In: Planning Quarterly
  • Exploring the smart-natural city interface; re-imagining and re-integrating urban planning and governance, Grace, M., Scott, A., Sadler, J., Proverbs, D., Grayson, N. 28 Feb 2020, In: Emerald Open Research
  • What does good green infrastructure policy look like?: developing a policy assessment tool to assess plans, policies and programmes, Scott, A., Hislop, M. 22 Jun 2020
  • Demystifying academics to enhance university-business collaborations in environmental science, Hillier , J., Saville , G., Smith , M., Scott, A., Raven , E., Gascoigne, J., Slater, L., Quin, N., Tsanakas, A., Souch , C., Leckebusch, G., Macdonald, N., Loxton , J., Wilebore, R., Collins, A., MacKechnie, C., Tweddle, J., Milner, A., Moller , S., Dove , M., Langford , H., Craig, J. 15 Jan 2019, In: Geoscience Communication
  • Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure in the Planning System, Scott, A. May 2019, In: Town and Country Planning
  • Mainstreaming the environment in planning policy and decision making, Scott, A. 19 Aug 2019, The Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning, London, Routledge
  • NCPT – managing environmental gains and losses, Hölzinger, O., Sadler, J., Scott, A., Grayson, N., Marsh, A. May 2019, In: Town and Country Planning
  • Rediscovering the rural–urban fringe: A hybrid opportunity space for rural planning, Scott, A. 17 Jan 2019, The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning, London, Taylor & Francis
  • What does good GI policy look like?, Scott, A., Hislop, M. May 2019, In: Town and Country Planning

Professional Activity

PGR Supervision

  • Matthew Kirby Multifunctional green belts - mainstreaming nature in a contentious policy space to address the climate and ecological emergencies Start Date: 01/10/2020
  • Rachel Holtby Mainstreaming Ecosystem Science into Marine Management Start Date: 01/10/2017


  • PhD December 17 1987
  • Member Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) 2016

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