School of the Built Environment


    In a rapidly urbanising world, the need to ensure there is equity and quality of life whilst balancing the impacts on the environment cannot be underestimated. In 2015 at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York, Member States of the United Nations agreed to an ambitious agenda comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aim to ‘end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.’

    The SDG’s are broad and aspirational: SDG 9 aims to ‘build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation’ whilst SDG 11 aims to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’. Assessing the impact of policies, plans and projects before they are implemented is a tool that will deliver sustainable development and aid in the delivery of the SDGs.


    The impacts from development/change of land use are traditionally addressed from two ‘sides’ – through environmental impact assessment (EIA) before development goes ahead and through the use of voluntary environmental management systems (EMS – such as the international standard ISO14001) during the operational phase of the development. However, it has long been recognised that there are theoretical benefits of environmental assessment continuing through into environmental management in terms of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the relevant processes. IAU staff member Bridget Durning along with Visiting Researchers Anastassios Perdicoulis and Martin Broderick have an ongoing research programme of exploring the theoretical and practical examples of coupling EIA and EMS and also of the rise of the use of environmental management plans (EMP) as one of the ways in which coupling can occur.

    Publications from this ongoing programme are currently published in:

    • Broderick, M. and Durning, B. (2006) Environmental impact assessment and environmental management plans – an example of an integrated process from the UK. In J.F. Martin-Duque, J.F., Brebbia, C.A. Emmanouloudis, D and Mander, U. (eds)Geo-Environment and Landscape Evolution II WIT Transactions Ecology and the Environment Volume 89. WITPress
    • Perdicoulis, A. and Durning, B (2007) Framework for EIA and EMS integration.Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 9(4) 385-397
    • Durning B (2012) Environmental Management Plans – origins, usage and development. In Perdicoulis, A. Durning, B and Palframan L (eds) Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment: towards a seamless connection between EIA and EMSEdward Elgar: Cheltenham
    • Perdicoulis, A. Durning, B and Palframan L (eds) (2012) Furthering Environmental Impact Assessment: towards a seamless connection between EIA and EMSEdward Elgar: Cheltenham
    • Durning B (2014) Benefits of coupling environmental assessment and environmental management to aid disaster risk reduction and management. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 16 (3): 1450029
    • Durning B and Broderick M (forthcoming 2017) Environmental and social management plans. In Therivel R and Wood G, Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment (4th ed) Routledge

    Related MSc research at Oxford Brookes: Mynheer G (2013) Bridging the gap between EIA and EMS within the oil & gas (upstream) industry. MSc Environmental Assessment & Management Dissertation, Oxford Brookes University.


    The Oxfordshire Economic Observatory (OEO) is a joint activity of Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University and Birkbeck College London, which undertakes research and consultancy on the growing high technology industry sectors.

    The IAU provides key staff (John Glasson–Director and Andrew Chadwick-Research Fellow) for the OEO which, since 2002, has produced a wide range of studies, with a particular focus on high-tech Oxfordshire. The county has particular strengths in high-tech manufacturing sectors, such as bio-tech, pharmaceuticals, medical engineering, computing and motor sports (F1), and also high tech services. Most recently, OEO contributed to The Oxfordshire Innovation Engine report (SQW 2013) on further realising the potential for high–tech development in Oxfordshire.

    Monographs and reports

    • 2013 (with SQW),The Oxfordshire Innovation Engine:Realising the Growth Potential, University of Oxford/Science Oxford/Oxfordshire LEP
    • 2007 (with SQW) Southern Oxfordshire High Technology Quadrant Study
      For Southern Oxfordshire Quadrant Partnership
    • 2007 (with L.Downing, A.Chadwick and H.Lawton-Smith), The Economic Ecology of Small Businesses in Oxfordshire), Oxfordshire Economic Observatory/UK Federation of Small Businesses
    • 2007 (with H. Lawton-Smith and A.Chadwick) Enterprising Oxford; the Oxfordshire Model for Innovation and Growth. Oxon. Economic Observatory, Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University
    • 2005 (with H. Lawton-Smith), High-Tech Spinoffs: Measuring Performance and Growth In Oxfordshire Oxon. Economic Observatory
    • 2003 Enterprising Oxford: Vol 1 – Growth of a High-Tech Economy; Vol 2 – Anatomy of a High-Tech Economy. Oxon. Economic Observatory, Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University

    Chapters in books

    • 2015 (with H. Lawton Smith), UK university models of technology transfer in a global economy, in S.M Breznitz and H. Etzkowitz), University Technology Transfer, Routledge, London
    • 2013 (with H. Lawton Smith) ‘Technological Transfer in the Perspective of Town Dimension: the case of Oxford and Oxfordshire in the UK’, in Noronha Vaz, T, Nijkamp, P and E. van Leeuwen (eds) Towns in a Rural World. Aldershot: Ashgate

    Journal articles

    • 2013 (with H. Lawton Smith, S.Romeo, R.Walters and A. Chadwick), Entrepreneurial Regions: Evidence from Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, Social Science Information
    • 2008 (with A. Chadwick and H.Lawton-Smith) Employment Growth in Knowledge –Intensive Business Services in Great Britain during the 1990s-variations at the Regional and Sub-Regional levels . Local Economy
    • 2006 (with A. Chadwick and H. Lawton Smith) ‘Defining, Explaining and Managing High-Tech Growth: the Case of Oxfordshire’ European Planning Studies
    • 2005 (with H. Lawton Smith and A. Chadwick) ‘The Geography of Talent: Entrepreneurship and Local Economic Development in Oxfordshire’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development