Profile of Mr Richard University of Edinburgh


After 20 years in professional practice and academia, I have undertaken my PhD at the University of Edinburgh to further study the UK's peri-urban landscapes and theoretical means to increase resilience to the Socio-Ecological Systems present.

General research interests

Green Infrastructure PlanningFrameworks,
Integrity in Urban Ecosystems,
Landscape Urbanism and a New Conception of Nature,
Environmental Psychology, Cultural Geography, Environmental Policy, Landscape Ecology

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Conceptual Framework for an Inclusive Green Infrastructure Planning Theory

PhD Abstract

The United Kingdom, as a region, is a dense matrix of human and natural landscapes. Nevertheless, the ecological integrity(1) of the region has been compromised over time as a result of human manipulations of the landscape(2). The natural environment has undergone fundamental alterations to its landscape systems, resulting in altered compositions and reduced resilience(3). This network must now be planned strategically to enhance the overall landscape integrity(4) of the region, ensuring the support and improvement of both natural and community system quality and the continued provision of ecosystem services(5).

To achieve sustainable development in the UK’s continually transmuting communities, comprehensive planning practices must evolve that consider the social benefits a community and region receives from its landscapes and ecosystems, which in turn must maintain their saliency and productiveness in both their natural (ecological) and anthropological (social) frameworks. To date, a consistent and inclusive planning approach has not been developed(6). A crucial first step in contributing to such an approach is the development of a clear and consistent planning theory.

Green infrastructure planning, a relatively new comprehensive planning approach which focusses on ecosystems and environmental networks(7), has the existing techniques and capacity to provide a more inclusive framework for applying systems- thinking to a broader range of networks beyond natural systems alone (8). Given a thoughtful and comprehensive planning process, social and natural systems can operate together to sustain healthy, functional environments(9).

The objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive green infrastructure planning theory for the UK’s peri-urban landscapes which incorporates interconnected socio-ecological systems thereby improving resilience and ecosystem services delivery.

I tis the United Kingdom’s peri-urban landscapes, these hybrid landscapes, which offer the context for best examining and understanding the relationships between the natural and community systems.

This inclusive green infrastructure planning approach seeks to raise the quality of life for present and future generations while simultaneously enhancing the socio-ecological systems, environmental functionality, regenerative capacity, and economic vitality of our communities.