Professor of Environment and Spatial Planning
- 0121 331 7551
Alister started his career as a Landscape Conservation Officer for Dartmoor National Park in 1986.
In 1988 he become Head of Countryside Management at the Welsh Agricultural College in Aberystwyth
In 1996 his role expanded with the merger of the College with Aberystwyth University and he was Head of Countryside
In 2004 he took up a Senior Researcher role at the Macaulay Land Use Institute in Aberdeen
In 2006 he became Head of Research in the Centre of Environment and Panning in Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen
In 2008 he joined the Geography, Tourism and Environmental Planning unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand as Head of Environmental Planning
In 2009 he joined Birmingham City University as senior lecturer and advanced to his present role as Professor of Environment and Spatial Planning.
Alister is Professor of Environment and Spatial Planning at the Birmingham School of the Built Environment (BSBE). His teaching and research interests revolve around urban-rural interrelationships and environmental governance set within an interdisciplinary perspective. Alister works in partnership with policy and practice professionals to address ‘messy’ problems.
His current projects include developing tools for policy and decision makers as part of the prestigious National Ecosystems Assessment Follow-on project 2012-2014, and managing environmental change at the rural urban fringe. He is a champion of planning and planners and regularly writes for the Birmingham Post highlighting recent issues associated with planning reforms. He won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) West Midlands Planning Leaders Award 2012 and has pioneered the development of Rufopoly, an interactive game in the rural urban fringe.
- 2013 Birmingham City University Academic Staff Member of the Year
- 2013 Keynote speaker RPTI Planning Convention June 2013
- 2013 Member of RTPI Policy, Practice and Research Committee
- 2012 RTPI Planning Leaders Award West Midlands Region
- 2012-2014 Member of UK Expert Panel National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on project
- 2012- Communication Adviser for Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability. Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme
- 2012-2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Consultant adviser on rural development
Areas of Expertise
- Urban-rural inter-relationships
- Ecosystem services and environmental planning
- UK planning policy
BA Geography Aberystwyth First Class
PhD (Wales) Issues in Common Land Management
- Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
- Town and Country Planning Association
Alister is a social scientist, geographer and chartered planner with research interests centred around the changing nature of governance and partnerships. His research particularly focuses on the ways sustainable development has been conceptualised and made operational.
Alister's research work explores themes including specialist sustainable rural land use, spatial planning, public engagement and landscape problems. He is currently leading two work packages for the National Ecosystems Assessment and has just completed a research-council funded project 'Managing change at the rural-urban fringe' as part of the RELU initiative (Rural Economy and Land Use).
Alister’s previous roles have included Acting Science Leader Socio-Economic Research Programme (SERP) for the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Area Board Member for Scottish Natural Heritage, Director of Research for the Centre of Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Aberdeen and Director of Environmental Planning at the University of Waikato. He has evaluated policy processes and networks with a particular interest in governance and stakeholder involvement.
His work stresses the importance of the policy networks and social learning aspects of rural diversification, rural development and landscape designation and Alister has also been at the forefront of landscape research including the implementation of the European Landscape Convention.
Alister has undertaken cross-territory comparisons and has also developed novel research approaches to capture the views of different public(s) through the lens of experience to be used to support interaction between stakeholders. He is in demand as a keynote speaker on spatial planning and has contributed to policy debates in, for example, the House of Commons magazine.
Examples of work:
Scott AJ (2013) Re-inventing the Fringe Property Journal June/July 2013 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Scott, AJ, Carter C and Hardman M. et al (2013) Ecosystem Approach Toolkit: Mainstreaming the Environment
Glass, J Price, M., Warren, C. and Scott AJ (eds) (2013) 'Lairds, Land and Sustainability: Scottish perspectives on upland management': Edinburgh University Press.
Scott AJ (2013) The Best Laid Plans, Policy Review, House Magazine 20th March 33
Adams D and Scott AJ (2013) In Search of Positive Planning, Town and Country Planning February 2013; 88-91
Scott AJ and Liddon A (2012) Playing Around in the rural urban fringe, Government Gazette October 2012 56
**Scott AJ (2013) Whither planning? Invited Keynote lecture Shaping Places: Getting Britain Building National Conference, 21 March 2013 Public Service Events
Adams, D and Scott AJ (2012) This is a local shop for local people, Tripwire 69 March/April 4-5
Carter, C. and Scott AJ et al (2012) Adapting for the long-term in the rural urban fringe, Managing Change at the Rural Urban Fringe, Relu project, Video Policy Brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ – ES/H037217/1
Glass, J.H., Scott, A.J. and Price, M.F. (2012). Getting active at the interface: how can sustainability researchers stimulate social learning? In: Wals, A.E.J. and Corcoran, P.B (eds), Learning for Sustainabiltiy in times of accelerating change. Wagenigen Press (chapter available for separate download).
Schiessel, N. and Scott AJ et al (2012) Managing contested values in the rural urban fringe, Managing Change at the Rural Urban Fringe, Rural Economy and Land Use programme (RELU) project, Video Policy Brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ – ES/H037217/1
Scott AJ and Carter, C. (2012) Planning on the Edge, Green Places 17-20 May 2012
Scott AJ (2012) Exposing, Exploring and Navigating the built and natural divide in public policy and planning. In Practice, March Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management 20-23
Scott AJ et al (2012) Re-discovering the Rural Urban Fringe Managing Change at the Rural Urban Fringe, RELU project, Video policy brief RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ – ES/H037217/1
Scott AJ et al (2012) Reconnecting the built and natural environment divide in the rural urban fringe, Managing Change at the Rural Urban Fringe, RELU project, Video policy brief , RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ – ES/H037217/1
Scott AJ et al (2012) Understanding connections by crossing boundaries in the rural urban fringe, Managing Change at the Rural Urban Fringe, RELU project, Video Policy Brief RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ – ES/H037217/1
Carter C and Scott AJ (2011) Spatial Planning and the New Environmental Governance, Government Gazette October 2011
Glass, J.H., Scott, A.J. and Price, M.F. (2011). Developing a sustainability assessment tool for upland estates. In: S.J. Marrs, S. Foster, C. Hendrie, E.C. Mackey, and D.B.A. Thompson (eds.) The Changing Nature of Scotland. Chapter 35 The Stationery Office, Edinburgh
Scott AJ and Carter (2011) The Rural Urban Fringe Forgotten Opportunity Space? Town and Country Planning May/June 2011 231-234
Scott AJ (2011) Capturing Institutional memory: the case of the rural urban Fringe workshop Tripwire p11 March/April 2011
Scott AJ (2010) Planning encounters a black hole, Planning p6 1 October 2010
Scott AJ (2010) Spatial planning encounters a black hole, Town and Country Planning, 326-327 July/August
Scott AJ (2012) Rufopoly
Planning Magazine, 27th March 2013, 7% of plans ruled in line with NPPF
BBC News 24 NPPF, 27th March 2012, Alister Scott interviewed
Scott, A.J. (2014) ‘Reconstructing sustainability: participant experience of community land tenure in North West Scotland’, Journal of Rural Studies vol. 33 no. 1 pp. 20-31
Scott, A. (2014) ‘Guerrilla Warfare in the Planning System: Revolution or Convergence in Sustainable Development Discourse?’, Geografiska Annaler B: Human Geography vol. 95 no. 4 pp. 375-387 (first available 28 February 2014) (with D. Adams and M. Hardman)
Scott, A.J. (2013, as lead author) 'Disintegrated development at the rural-urban fringe: re-connecting spatial planning theory and practice', Progress in Planning vol. 83 pp. 1-52 (with 21 colleagues from the RELU project). This is an open access paper, read it here, copy and circulate
Scott, A.J. (2013) (ed.) Lairds, Land and Sustainability Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh (with J. Glass, M. Price and C. Warren)
Scott, A.J. (2013) ‘Sustainability in the uplands: introducing key concepts’, in Glass, J., Price, M., Warren, C. and Scott, A.J. (eds) Lairds, Land and Sustainability Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh (with J. Glass, M. Price and C. Warren)
Scott, A.J. (2013) ‘Community landownership; rediscovering the road to sustainability’, in Glass, J., Price, M., Warren, C. and Scott, A.J. (eds) Lairds, Land and Sustainability Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh (with R. McMorran)
Scott, A.J. (2013) ‘Discovering Scotland’s upland ecosystem services’, in Glass, J., Price, M., Warren, C. and Scott, A.J. (eds) Lairds, Land and Sustainability Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh (with J. Glass, M. Price, C. Warren and R. McMorran)
Scott, A.J. (2013) ‘Reinventing the fringe’, RICS Property Journal June/July, pp. 8-10
Scott, A.J. (2013) Building a 'bigger society': going beyond the 'usual suspects' in a local community training programme Working Paper no. 17, Centre for Environment and Society Research, BCU (with P.J. Larkham, M. Hardman, R. Curzon and J. Lamb)
Scott, A.J. (2013) ‘Applying the ecosystem approach to improve policy and decision making processes: making a tool of yourself’, paper presented at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London (with C. Carter, M. Hardman and M. Everard)
Scott, A.J. (2013) 'The best laid plans', House magazine (of the House of Commons) 21 March p. 33
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Disintegrated planning: exploring and crossing the natural and built environment divide’, Keynote paper given at the Spring Conference, IEEM, Birmingham
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘10 ingredients for successful partnerships’, Keynote given to the Natural Connections Conference, UCL, London
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Re-discovering the rural urban fringe’, Invited international keynote paper given to the SURF INTERREG conference on Peri Urban Fringes
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Playing Lepology in the rural urban fringe’, Invited keynote, and facilitator for joint spatial planning event, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnerships ; Worcester LEP, Birmingham
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Managing rural urban space’, Invited keynote lecture to the Countryside and Community Research Unit annual conference, Gloucester
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘What kind of tools do we want?’, Keynote talk to the National Ecosystem Assessment Follow on Stakeholder Panel, BESS UNEMPWMC, York
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Beware of fire breathing dragons’, Keynote talk given to the Planning and Development Association West Midlands, University of Birmingham
Scott, A.J. (2102) ‘Disintegrated development in the rural urban fringe’, Keynote Public lecture given to Cardiff Innovation and Engagement Unit, December
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Optimizing land use’, Keynote presentation to OECD Rural Working Group, Paris, December
Scott, A.J. (2012) Invited workshop event at Living with Environmental Change Annual meeting, Aston University, November.
Scott, A. (2012) ‘Exposing, exploring and navigating the built and natural environment divide in public policy and planning’, In Practice (Bulletin of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management issue 75 pp. 20-23
Scott, A. (2012) Partnerships: Pandora's box or panacea for rural development? Working Paper no. 11, Centre for Environment and Society Research, Birmingham City University
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘This is a local shop for local people’, Tripwire no. 69 (March/April) pp. 4-5 (with D. Adams)
Scott, A. (2012) ‘Planning on the edge’, Green Places May, pp. 17-20 (with C. Carter)
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Agricultural connections in the rural urban fringe’, invited keynote lecture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (with D. Collier)
Scott, A.J. (2012) ‘Farming at the rural-urban fringe: new opportunity spaces for UK agriculture?’, Paper presented at the conference on Agriculture in an urbanising society, Multifunctional Agriculture and urban-rural relationships, Amsterdam (with D. Collier)
Scott, A.J. (2012) 'Getting active at the interface: how can sustainability researchers stimulate social learning?', in Wals, A.E.J. and Corcoran, P.B. (eds) Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen (with Glass, J. and Price, M.).
Scott, A.J. (2011) 'Focusing in on focus groups: effective participative tools or cheap fixes for land use policy?', Land Use Policy vol. 28 pp. 684-694.
Scott, A.J. (2011) 'Beyond the conventional: meeting the challenges of landscape governance within the European Landscape Convention?', Journal of Environmental Management vol. 92 pp. 2754-2762,
Scott, A.J. (2010) 'A black hole in planning', Planning issue 1888, 1 October p. 6
Scott, A.J. (2010) 'Spatial planning encounters a black hole', Town and Country Planning July/August pp. 326-327
Scott, A.J., Carter, C., White, V. and Brown, K. (2009) 'Seeing is not everything: exploring the landscape experiences of different publics', Landscape Research vol. 34 no. 4 pp. 397-424
Scott, A.J., Shorten, J., Owen, R. and Owen, I.G. (2009) 'What kind of countryside do we want: perspectives from Wales UK', Geojournal DOI 10.1007/s10708-009-9256-y online
Scott, A.J. and Shannon, P. (2007) 'Planning for rural development in Scotland: a new role for Local Landscape Designations', Planning Theory and Practice vol. 8 no. 4 pp. 509-528
Alister Scott is one of the University’s dedicated team of trained media champions, and can comment on a range of subjects including:
- Urban–rural interrelationships
- Ecosystem services and environmental planning
- UK Planning Policy