Climate Change & Environmental Governance

In the wake of its “City Deal” and newfound city-regional powers, Greater Manchester, UK began to grapple with its climate change and environmental governance pathways through the use new mechanisms. One example of a novel governance mechanism was the 2018 Mayor of Greater Manchester's Green Summit which was one step in a continuing process to envision a new direction for the city-region’s climate change policy. Meanwhile, campaigners, activists, citizens and other stakeholders are trying to understand how their climate change and environmental interests can be justly represented within such new decision-making processes at the city-regional level.

How could Greater Manchester develop climate change and environmental policy through pathways that are collaborative with a wider set of external stakeholders?

To support the development of new collaborative governance processes, a partnership was formed with the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub to establish an action research project to effectively engage decision-makers and the public during the development and implementation of climate change and environmental policy. Ryan, a PhD candidate directing this project, focused on exploring new coproductive policy development pathways and mechanisms that can enable collaboration and engagement between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Environment Team and citizens and civil society organisations. Through the embedded action research project, this research investigated the strengths and limitations of coproduction as a governance process for developing socially just and scientifically rigorous climate change and environmental policy in Greater Manchester.

A summary of the core research appears with some indicative observations in the Realising Just Cities UK report (September 2019) -- see pages 34-35. Ryan aims to present full findings in 2020.

See Ryan's reflections on the second GM Green Summit (2019) on the Realising Just Cities blog.


Watch Ryan and fellow Realising Just Cities PhD candidate Jenny Patient apply their learning to co-produce a workshop on reacting to the climate emergency at the 4th international Realising Just Cities conference:

People involved

Ryan Bellinson

Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. His research focuses on innovative urban governance models that may be used to develop socially just and scientifically robust climate change policy. Embedded in the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub, Ryan took forward an environmental governance project investigating coproductive policy development in Greater Manchester, UK. Read more about this work in the Realising Just Cities UK report.

Prior to joining the Realising Just Cities programme, Ryan earned a B.SC. in environmental studies from the University of Oregon (2015), and an M.Sc. in urban studies from the University of Amsterdam (2017). Ryan has also worked as a constituent affairs intern for United States Senator Jeff Merkley and was a land use planning and air toxins policy fellow in the State of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s Natural Resource Policy Office

Email Ryan

Beth Perry

Beth is a Professor of Urban Knowledge and Governance and Co-Director of the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on urban governance, transformation and the roles of universities, with an emphasis on socio-environmental and socio-cultural transitions.

Beth Perry joined the Urban Institute in September 2016 and is now Co-director and leads the Co-producing Urbanisms theme.  Following degrees in European Studies and Modern Languages (BA Hons, University of Manchester) and European Integration (MA, University of Bradford), she joined the Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF) at the University of Salford and became its director prior to moving to Sheffield.  During this time she completed her PhD which focused on the relationship between universities and the knowledge economy in the context of multi-level and multi-actor governance. From 2010 to 2019, Beth was the UK Programme Lead for the Mistra Urban Futures Centre, a research centre headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and led the UK's Realising Just Cities programme. 

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News, events and blog

A new policy brief has been published by Dr. Ryan Bellinson examining how the concept of co-production can be used as an approach to promote participative urban climate policy development. This policy brief draws on his recent PhD research that was supervised by Urban Institute Director Professor Beth Perry and Co-Director Professor Aidan While.

The latest newsletter is published. You can read about our ESRC Jam and Justice final project report launch, our work on festivals or our recent participation in a TV debate on citizens and climate action, plus lots of news from our international partners. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 17:00 to 19:00
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences, Conference Room, 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP

Cities across the UK have declared a climate emergency. This panel will explore co-production's potential role in achieving climate action.

Climate change is increasingly being recognised as an emergency. Sheffield and Manchester have both declared a climate emergency. Beyond statements recognising the climate crisis, how can cities co-produce meaningful action to address climate change?

By Ryan Bellison, PhD Student 22nd July 2019

I, like most other researchers, am passionate about the topics I investigate. So when I was recently presented with an opportunity to participate in a TV programme, I was quite excited to share my work with a new audience.

There are three PhD students now working on the Realising Just Cities programme in Sheffield-Manchester.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 15:00 to Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 07:00

REFURB uses EPSRC support to bring together eight leading specialists in urban metabolism with representatives from 6 cities and the UNEP for a 3 day workshop, to examine the research and societal challenge of sustainably resourcing future urbanisation.