Professor Liz Sharp
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Professor of Water and Planning
+44 114 222 6941
Full contact details
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
I am an environmental social scientist supporting practical improvements in our environment.
My background is Geography, Planning, Environmental Consultancy and Environmental Science.
My research career has spanned a number of local issues including water supply, waste and flooding. I am interested in the interactions between the public and organisations taking formal environmental governance responsibilities like local government and water companies. In my research I partner with engineers and landscape specialists, among others.
My teaching supports students in exploring and supporting changes in environmental action and policy.
I studied in Cambridge and Sheffield and have worked in Birmingham, Bradford and Sheffield.
- Research interests
I focus on the governance of the environment, and specifically the processes through which the public are engaged (or not) in making and implementing environmental policy. The two central research questions that my research addresses are:
What new patterns of water governance are emerging, and how do they serve the sustainability goals of adaptation to climate change and effective public engagement?
How can interpretive research collaborate with more traditional approaches to science and water practice in driving forward new patterns of water governance?
The main empirical focus for my work is water policy including water supply and demand, water in the landscape, and flooding. Some elements of my work have also looked at waste and energy policy.
Current and Recent Research Projects
- Mobilising Citizens for Adaptation (MOCA) (Natural Environment Research Council)
- Twenty65 (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council)
- Reshaping the domestic nexus (Economic & Social Research Council)
- PREPARED (European Commission - Framework 7)
- Blue Green Infrastructure through social Innovation (BEGIN) (INTERREG)
- The feasibility of domestic raintanks contributing to community-oriented urban flood resilience. Climate Risk Management, 35, 100390-100390.
- Creating legitimacy for citizen initiatives: representation, identity and strategic networking. Planning Theory and Practice. View this article in WRRO
- Challenges and opportunities for re-framing resource use policy with practice theories : the change points approach. Global Environmental Change, 62. View this article in WRRO
- Reflexive adaptation for resilient water services: Lessons for theory and practice. Global Environmental Change, 57. View this article in WRRO
- The water–energy–food nexus at home: New opportunities for policy interventions in household sustainability. The Geographical Journal. View this article in WRRO
- Resource efficiency and the imagined public: Insights from cultural theory. Global Environmental Change, 34, 196-206. View this article in WRRO
- Making sense of landscape change: Long-term perceptions among local residents following river restoration. Journal of Hydrology, 519, 2613-2623. View this article in WRRO
- Developing adaptive capacity through reflexivity: lessons from collaborative research with a UK water utility. Critical Policy Studies, 8(4), 427-446. View this article in WRRO
- PET bottle use patterns and antimony migration into bottled water and soft drinks: the case of British and Nigerian bottles. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 14(4), 1237-1237.
- Positivism, post-positivism and domestic water demand: interrelating science across the paradigmatic divide. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(4), 501-515.
- The necessity of biomass application for developing combined heat and power (CHP) with biogas fuel: Case study. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 66, 505-510.
- Using secondary data to analyse socio-economic impacts of water management actions. Journal of Environmental Management, 91, 411-419. View this article in WRRO
- From Harvard to Bradford - experiences of running a peer education for sustainable development project. Planet, 22(1), 34-38.
- Issues of trust, fairness and efficacy: a qualitative study of information provision for newly metered households in England. Water Supply, 9(3), 311-319.
- Making power explicit in sustainable water innovation: re-linking subjectivity, institution and structure through environmental citizenship. Environmental Politics, 18(1), 37-57.
- Measuring the local economic impact of National Health Service procurement in the UK: an evaluation of the Cornwall Food Programme and LM3. Local Environment, 13(3), 253-270.
- Collaborative research in sustainable water management: issues of interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 32(3), 221-232.
- Water demand management in England and Wales: Constructions of the domestic water user. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 49(6), 869-889.
- The community waste sector and waste services in the UK: Current state and future prospects. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 47(3), 277-294.
- Implementation impediments to institutionalising the practice of sustainable urban water management. Water Science and Technology, 54(6-7), 415-422.
- Exploring the community waste sector:Are sustainable development and social capital useful concepts for project-level research?. Community Development Journal, 40(1), 62-75.
- Remaking Local Governance through Community Participation? The Case of the UK Community Waste Sector. Urban Studies, 41(8), 1485-1505.
- Public Participation and Policy: Unpacking connections in one UK Local Agenda 21. Local Environment, 7(1), 7-22.
- Reflections on Foucauldian discourse analysis in planning and environmental policy research. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 3(3), 193-209.
- Local policy for the global environment: In search of a new perspective. Environmental Politics, 8(4), 137-159.
- Local State of the Environment Reporting: Lessons from Experience in Britain and Canada. Planning Practice & Research, 13(1), 81-89.
- Monitoring the take up of GIS: the local authority scene. Monitoring the take up of GIS: the local authority scene.
- How actors are (dis)integrating policy agendas for multi-functional blue and green infrastructure projects on the ground. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 1-13. View this article in WRRO
- Mobilising the public to reduce household water use in Essex and Suffolk Water, Resilience of Water Supply in Practice: Experiences from the Frontline (pp. 59-80). IWA Publishing
- View this article in WRRO Both critical and applied? Action research and transformative change in the UK water sector In Bartels K & Wittmayer J (Ed.), Action Research in Policy Analysis: Critical and Relational Approaches to Sustainability Transitions Routledge
- Enabling Change: Institutional Adaptation In Hulsman A, Betriebe G, Van Den Berg G, Racuch W, Jensen A, Popovych V, Mazzola M, Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L & Savic D (Ed.), Climate Change, Water Supply and Sanitation: Risk Assessment, Management, Mitigation and Reduction (pp. 355-373). London: IWA Publishing.
- Developing Adaptive Capacity in a Water Utility In Hulsman A, Betriebe G, Van Den Berg G, Racuch W, Jensen A, Popovych V, Mazzola M, Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia L & Savic D (Ed.), Climate Change, Water Supply and Sanitation: Risk Assessment, Management, Mitigation and Reduction (pp. 29-32). London: IWA Publishing.
- Theorising participation: pulling down the ladder In Rydin Y & Thornley A (Ed.), Planning in the UK London: Ashgate.
- New Genetics, New Social Formations Routledge
Conference proceedings papers
- Water in everyday use: A study on water-using technologies and the water user in Essex. Proceedings of the Combined International Conference of Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI2007 and Sustainable Urban Water Management, SUWM2007 (pp 329-336)
- Why we should celebrate water: Recommendations for engaging the public in sustainable water management. Proceedings of the Combined International Conference of Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI2007 and Sustainable Urban Water Management, SUWM2007 (pp 681-688)
- Sustainable Urban Water Management (SUWM) in urban regeneration projects. Proceedings of the Combined International Conference of Computing and Control for the Water Industry, CCWI2007 and Sustainable Urban Water Management, SUWM2007 (pp 675-680)
- The governance of Blue Green infrastructure funding: a case study comparison from the UK and the Netherlands. IFoU 2018: Reframing Urban Resilience Implementation: Aligning Sustainability and Resilience, 10 December 2018 - 12 December 2018.
- Mobilising publics for resilient water management. Mobilising publics for resilient water management
- Social science to support water sensitive cities. IWA World Congress. Lisbon, Portugal, 22 September 2014 - 26 September 2014.
- Water sensitive urban design in a European context. ACT: Engineers Australia, 2013: 209-219 (pp 209-219). Melbourne, 25 November 2013 - 29 November 2013.
- Designing Blue Green Infrastructure (BGI) for water management, human health, and wellbeing: summary of evidence and principles for design
- Food waste, food safety and kitchen practices: implications for policy and intervention
- Change Points: A toolkit for designing interventions that unlock unsustainable practices
- Energy use, flexibility and domestic food practices: implications for policy and intervention
- Food waste and kitchen practices: implications for policy and intervention
- Fats, oils, grease and kitchen practices: implications for policy and intervention
- Final report for the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project
- The Domestic Nexus: interrogating the interlinked practices of water, energy and food consumption
- Research group
I am Primary Supervisor for the following PhD students:
- Fiona Calder, Involving customers in directing water supply and sewerage outcomes
- Fatima Ajia, Public communications in the adaptive water utility
- Juliet de Little, Planning for resilience under multi-stakeholder risk management
- Emmanuel Maiyanga, Domestic water consumption patterns and the future of potable water in Abuja, Nigeria
- Hayyan Rozi, Strategies for incorporating low carbon city planning into government regulations to reduce the carbon emissions of rrban areas: A case study of Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia
I welcome applications from students interested in PhD research relating to:
- water management policies and practices in the UK or in other developed countries (with a particular focus on whether and how sustainability is defined, developed or promoted)
- the processes and experiences of innovation and knowledge development in water management (with a particular focus on how co-operation is achieved between academic disciplines, and how academia and practice interact).
- Teaching activities
My role as a teacher is to support students in learning how to access information and to think critically about environmental topics.
My classes are conceived as a forum in which students can develop, support and interrogate their understandings and opinions. I teach on the following modules: