TWENTY65 PhD Position - The Governance of blue-green infrastructure

Posted: 12.12.2017

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TWENTY65 is a consortium of six UK universities, led by the University of Sheffield, exploring disruptive innovations to meet the sustainable water challenges of the future.  As a member of this exciting consortium, you will work with leading water academics in the UK and worldwide and have access to unprecedented collaboration opportunities with more than 100 industrial partners working together across a wide range of activities, including an annual conference, Thought Leadership Club workshops, and spin-out projects.  Training activities will include technical, policy, and social aspects alongside a cohort of students working across the TWENTY65 water domain from robotics to energy to public engagement.

This PhD research project examines the processes through which blue-green infrastructure (BGI) is planned, designed and implemented. 

BGI offers clear societal benefits associated with flood and drought mitigation, water quality improvement as well as local access to green space and associated health benefits.  But consideration of BGI benefits is relatively new, and implementation requires buy-in and action beyond the water managers and landscape specialists who advocate its use.  BGI therefore faces a significant planning problem. 

BGI research to date has focused on identifying and quantifying benefits with relatively little attention to the process of projects’ development and governance.  By exploring cases where BGI is being implemented, this research seeks to open up discussion of who is able to influence BGI when and in what ways, and hence to examine opportunities for how BGI can be better supported in the future. 

The project may develop to focus on who in local authorities identifies and develops proposals for BGI and whose agendas they are able to meet.  Equally, it might compare and contrast the processes for planning BGI across different countries and local authorities.  It could also focus on specific BGI and a detailed examination of how which costs and benefits accrue to which parties.   

As well as linking to TWENTY65, the research also links to the BEGIN intereg project in which ten cities undertaking BGI development work with technical partners to achieve social innovation and hence to maximise the benefits accrued (

Furthre information can be found at : &


This PhD is available to UK or EU applicants only.   Start date 1 October 2018.

Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the closing date and applicants will be notified promptly. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place at the University of Sheffield or via webmeeting.


To apply, please e-mail your CV and a covering letter explaining your background and interest in this research to Liz Sharp at


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