Claudia Carter

Reader in Environmental Governance

School of Engineering and the Built Environment
0121 331 5404

Claudia is an interdisciplinary researcher in the field of environmental governance. Her research relates to climate change and sustainability adopting social-ecological systems thinking/approaches. A poignant area of interest are the opportunities and barriers to 'low-impact' living and the emergence of transition initiatives/towns and degrowth movement. Claudia studied geography and environmental management and for many years worked in academic and applied research on environmental policy and management, environmental values, public and stakeholder engagement, critical evaluation, and interdisciplinary research approaches. She joined Birmingham City University in 2011 as a researcher and lecturer teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students. Since 2011 she has been Associate Editor (Socio-Economics) of the journal Environmental Values.

Current/recent research projects include (i) development of PARTICIPOLOGY, a resource to engage people in participative planning, decision-making and training using a board game format; (ii) work packages 9 and 10 of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) Follow-On programme focusing on assessing and developing tools to take account of the Ecosystem Approach in decision-making; and (iii) collaboration in the Rural Economy and Land Use programme (RELU) - funded project 'Managing change at the rural-urban fringe'.

Past posts included Project Leader/Social Scientist at the Forestry Commission's Research Agency - Forest Research (Farnham, England; 2006-2011); Researcher in the Socio-Economic Research Group (SERG) of the Macaulay Institute (Aberdeen, Scotland; 2002-2006), Research Associate in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge (1998-2001). For more information about Claudia's work and current research, please contact her via

Current Activity

Claudia leads and contributes to several modules on undergraduate and postgraduate courses relating to the built and natural environment, environmental governance, and the interface between social, economic and environmental interests.

Claudia teaches mainly on the following courses:

Undergraduate modules:

  • SMART Policies and Plans (Level 5) (Module Leader)
  • Honours Research Project (Level 6)

Postgraduate modules:

  • Agents of Environmental Planning (Level 7) (Module Leader)
  • Complexity, Conflict and Resolution (Level 7) (Module Leader)
  • Foundations of Planning (Level 7)
  • Governance of Built and Natural Environments (Level 7) (Module Leader/Tutor)
  • Planners Toolkit (Level 7)
  • Research Project/Masters Dissertation (Level 7) (Module Leader)
  • Society, Economy and Environment (Level 7) (Module Leader)

PhD Supervision:

  • Louis Durrant (PhD student, BCU) In Search of Landscape Scale Community Development Ideas (2016-). Co-supervisor
  • Rosmarie Katrin Neumann (PhD student, BCU/Newcastle University) Adoption and Implementation of Scientific Knowledge for Political Decision-making – Ecosystem Services of Peatlands Case Study (2014-). Co-supervisor

Claudia covers both social and natural sciences and adopts interdisciplinary approaches in her research. Her published work as author and editor comes in a range of formats including academic journal articles, book chapters, policy briefs (paper, pdf and video), features in environmental and planning magazines and numerous research reports and summaries.

Claudia is Associate Editor (Socio-Economics) of the journal Environmental Values.

Since 2015, Claudia represents BCU on the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) West Midlands Regional Activities Committee.

Areas of Expertise
  • Environmental governance: ecosystem approach
  • Environmental and climate change
  • Holistic, participatory and creative approaches to environmental planning and management
  • Beyond risk: uncertainty and complexity
  • Institutional analysis
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Research methods (especially qualitative and mixed methods)
  • MA (Hons) Geography (1993)
  • MSc Environmental Management (1995)
  • Postgraduate Certificate, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (2013)
  • 2014 - on going: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 2007-2008 Member of the British Sociology Association
  • 2005-2006: Member of the Society for Social Studies of Science
  • 1998-2004: Member of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE) and the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE)
  • 1999-2004: Secretary of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE)
  • 2000-2003: Member of the Board of ESEE
  • 1996-2001: Member of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine Public Relations Association (STEMPRA)

Claudia is a geographer and environmental manager with an academic and applied research background. Her research experience and interests concern:

  • environmental governance issues, particularly eliciting different perspectives and values concerning environmental policy, land use planning and environmental management across different scales; civic society driven/inclusive processes; participatory monitoring and evaluation; environmental management; institutional analysis of environmental issues; transition movement/degrowth.
  • human-nature relationship, especially landscape perceptions and values; joined-up and participatory spatial planning; meaning, influence and significance of nature in people’s lives.
  • methodology, interdisciplinary approaches to research and environmental management; innovative methods and cross-cutting approaches to address complex problems; reflective and critical appraisal; links to theory and development of conceptual frameworks.

Current/recent research projects:

Past posts included Project Leader/Social Scientist at the Forestry Commission's Research Agency - Forest Research (Farnham, England; 2006-2011); Researcher in the Socio-Economic Research Group (SERG) of the Macaulay Institute (Aberdeen, Scotland; 2002-2006), Research Associate in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge (1998-2001).



Carter, Claudia (2016) 'Faults of Our Reality?' Editorial. Environmental Values, 25 (6). pp. 633-637. ISSN 09632719

Carter, C. and Reed, M. (2016) ‘Parks and climate change: Challenges to the protected area landscape and emerging policy and management responses’. In: T. Hammer, I. Mose, D. Siegrist and N. Weixlbaumer (Eds) Parks of the Future! Protected areas in Europe challenging regional and global change. Munich: Oekom, pp. 37-46

Carter, Claudia (2015) Assessing the potential for ecosystem-based thinking at the landscape scale focusing on city regions. In: Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society on ‘Geographies of the Anthropocene’, Exeter

Carter, C. (2015) ‘Denial and Despair’, Environmental Values 24(5): 577-580.

Attlee, A.C., Reed, M.S., Carter, C.E., Scott, A.J., Vella, S., Hardman, M. and Neumann, R.K. (2015) Tools for assessing ecosystem services futures: a review. CAB reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 10: 1-13

Carter, Claudia and Reed, M.S. and Scott, Alister (2015) Taking the landscape scale to the extreme: Insights for planning from taking a social-ecological systems view. In: UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference ‘Future Planning, Future Cities’, London

Carter, Claudia and Reed, Mark S. and Scott, Alister (2015) Making wicked problems game for planning. In: UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference ‘Future Planning, Future Cities’, London

Carter, Claudia and Scott, Alister and Adams, David (2015) Learning lessons from Rufopoly as a participatory tool, November 2011 to March 2015, Work Package 1 Report. Project Report. Birmingham City University

Carter, C. (2014) ‘Climate Change, Irreversible Change and Changing Perspectives’, Environmental Values 23(5): 497-500

Scott, A. and C. Carter (2014) Improving policy- and decision-making in peri-urban areas, Town and Country Planning September 2014: 405-406

Scott, A., C. Carter, O. Hölzinger, M. Everard, D. Rafaelli (Report Review Editor), M. Hardman, J. Baker, K. Leach, R. Wakeford, M. Reed, M. Grace, T. Sunderland, R. Waters, R. Corstanje, R. Glass, N. Grayson, J. Harris and A. Taft (2014) UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on Work Package Report 10: Tools – Applications, Benefits and Linkages for Ecosystem Science (TABLES). UNEP-WCMC, LWEC, UK.160pp. 

Carter, C. (2013) ‘Equity, Ethics and Evidence in Environmental Governance’, Environmental Values 22(5): 561-566

Scott, A.J., C. Carter, M.R. Reed, P. Larkham, D. Adams, N. Morton, R. Waters, D. Collier, C. Crean, R. Curzon, R. Forster, P. Gibbs, N. Grayson, M. Hardman, A. Hearle, D. Jarvis, M. Kennet, K. Leach, M. Middleton, N. Schiessel, B. Stonyer and R. Coles (2013) Disintegrated Development at the Rural-Urban Fringe: Re-connecting spatial planning theory and practice, Progress in Planning 83 (July): 1-52. 

Carter, C. (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 A.J. Scott, M. Everard and M. Hardman)

Ambrose-Oji, B., C. Carter, A. Lawrence and D. Moseley (2012) UK Planning Systems: Integrating Woodlands and Trees. A Scoping Study. Farnham, UK: Forest Research, 63pp

Carter, C. (2012) 'From risk-based model to pro-active and adaptive management: 'The Birmingham Project'. Paper presented at the Cardiff International Conference on Sustainable Place-Making, October (with N. Grayson)

Scott, A.J., C. Carter et al. (2012) ‘Reconnecting the built and natural environment divide in the rural urban fringe’, Video policy brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ (ES/H037217/1)

Scott, A.J., N. Morton, R. Curzon, C. Carter et al. (2012) ‘Understanding connections by crossing boundaries in the rural urban fringe’, Video policy brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ (ES/H037217/1) 

Schiessel, N., A.J. Scott, C. Carter et al. (2012) ‘Managing contested values in the rural urban fringe’, Video policy brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ (ES/H037217/1) 

Carter, C. et al. (2012) ‘Adapting for the long-term in the rural urban fringe’, Video policy brief, RELU grant award for ‘Managing Environmental Change at the Fringe’ (ES/H037217/1) 

Morris, J., O'Brien, E., Ambrose-Oji, B., Lawrence, A., Carter C. and Peace, A. (2011) 'Access for all? Barriers to accessing woodlands and forests in Britain', 16(4): 375-396

Ambrose-Oji, B., Tabbush, P., Carter, C., Frost, B. and Fielding, K. (2011) Public engagement in forestry: a toolbox for public participation in forest and woodland planning. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh

Carter, C. and Scott, A.J. (2011) 'Spatial planning - new opportunities for environmental governance', Government Gazette (October) pp. 46-47

Selman, P., C. Carter, A. Lawrence and C. Morgan (2010) ‘Re-connecting with a recovering river through imaginative engagement’, Ecology and Society 15(3): 18 [online] 

Castán Broto V., Burningham, K.,Carter, C. and Elghali, L. (2010) 'Stigma and attachment: performance of identity in an environmentally degraded place', Society and Natural Resources vol. 23 no. 10 pp. 952-968.

Carter, C. and Pycroft, A. (2010) 'Getting out: offenders in forestry and conservation work settings', in Brayford, J., Cowe, F. and Deering, J. (eds) What else works? Creative work with offenders. Willan, Uffculme.

Lawrence, A. and Carter, C. (2009) 'Human behavioural and institutional change', in Read, D. et al. (eds) Combating climate change - a role for UK forests. An assessment of the potential of the UK’s trees and woodlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Scott, A., Carter, C., Brown, K. and White, V. (2009) '"Seeing is not everything": exploring the landscape experiences of different publics', Landscape Research, 34(4): 397-424

Castán Broto, V., C. Carter and L. Elghali (2009) Research Note: ‘The governance of coal ash pollution in post-socialist times: power and expectations’. Environmental Politics, 18(2): 279-286.

Castán Broto, V., C. Carter and L. Elghali (2008) ‘Environmental Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Post-socialism Development and Local Governance’ (A dramatised interpretation in one act). In: R. Hillerbrand and R. Karlsson Beyond the Global Village: Environmental Challenges Inspiring Global Citizenship. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. Probing the Boundaries Series, Volume 51. Chapter 2, pp 26-34. ISBN: 978-1-904710-50-9. 

Carter, C. and L. O’Brien (2008) ‘Identity-building in the woods: Re-connecting with nature for health and wellbeing’. Ecos, 29(2): 33-41.

Spash, C.L. and C. Carter (2008) ‘Environmental Valuation in Europe: Findings from the Concerted Action’ (2001).  In: J. Martinez-Alier and I. Røpke Recent Developments In Ecological Economics Volume 2. Chapter 9, pp. 125-140.

Dellantonio, A., W.J. Fitz, H. Custovic, F. Repmann, B.U. Schneider, H. Grünewald, V. Gruber, Z. Zgorelec, N. Zerem, C. Carter, M. Markovic, M. Puschenreiter, W.W. Wenzel (2008) ‘Environmental risks of farmed and barren alkaline coal ash landfills in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina’. Environmental Pollution, 153: 677-686.

O’Neill, J., C. Carter, K. Ekeli and W. Kenyon (2008) Representing Diversity in Participatory Approaches, PATH Policy Research Brief. Aberdeen, UK: Macaulay Institute. 

Blackstock, K.L. and C.E. Carter (2007) ‘Operationalising sustainability science for a sustainability directive? Reflecting on three pilot projects’. The Geographical Journal, 173(4): 343-357.

Richards, C., K. Blackstock and C. Carter (2007, 2nd edition) ‘Practical Approaches to Participation’, SERG Policy Brief No. 1. Aberdeen: The Macaulay Institute. First edition: 2004 

Carter, C. (2006) ‘Environmental Governance: The Power and Pitfalls of Participatory Processes’, Aberdeen Discussion Paper Series: People, Environment, Development. Aberdeen: The Macaulay Institute and University of Aberdeen. ISSN 1743-9965. 

Carter, C. (2005) ‘The Role of Participatory Processes in Environmental Governance: The example of agricultural GMOs’. In: P.H. Feindt and J. Newig (eds) Partizipation, Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung, Nachhaltigkeit: Perspektiven der politischen Ökonomie. Marburg: Metropolis-Verlag, pp. 181-207.