Professor Gordon Walker


Research Interests

My research interests have moved around over time but have centred on the social, spatial and normative dimensions of environment, sustainability and risk issues.

I am currently focussing predominantly on questions of energy demand in my new role as Co-Director of the RCUK funded DEMAND Centre (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand). The DEMAND Centre takes a distinctive approach to end use energy demand, recognising that energy is not used for its own sake but as part of accomplishing social practices at home, at work and in moving around. I am specifically involved in projects within the Centre's research programme on how energy is related to notions of need, rights and justice; on the work of energy managers using energy management and control systems; on the dynamics of energy use in everyday life; and integration activities across the consortium of academic and non-academic partners.

I continue however to be interested and engaged in areas of research and writing that have previously preoccupied me. These include:

  • environmental justice theory, concepts and methods and the investigation of inequalities in the distribution of environmental goods and bads. See the book Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics (Routledge 2012) and environmental justice web pages for outputs from previous projects;
  • sustainability, social practice, and transitions, working with Elizabeth Shove and others in the Sustainable Practices Research Group (ESRC, DEFRA and Scottish Government) on the dynamics of air conditioning and the imagined future lives of those living in zero carbon housing, and writing more generally about socio-technical transitions and practice;
  • energy poverty, vulnerability and thermal comfort. See EPSRC projects Conditioning Demand: Older People, Diversity and Thermal Experience and InCluESEV the 'Interdisciplinary Cluster on Energy Systems, Equity and Vulnerability' - this has led to the edited book Energy Justice in a Changing Climate (Zed, 2013)
  • the social dimensions of sustainable energy technologies and public engagement with community energy projects. See the ESRC funded 'Beyond Nimbysim' and Community Energy Initiatives projects);
  • risk governance, vulnerability and resilience related to floods and technological risks. See the Hull Flood project and EU projects CAPHAZ, SCENARIO and ARMONIA


The flood recovery gap: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull, North East England
Medd, W., Deeming, H., Walker, G., Whittle, R., Mort, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, M., Watson, N., Kashefi, E. 12/2015 In: Journal of Flood Risk Management. 8, 4, p. 315-328. 14 p.
Journal article

Zero carbon homes and zero carbon living: sociomaterial interdependencies in carbon governance
Walker, G., Karvonen, A., Guy, S. 10/2015 In: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 40, 4, p. 494-506. 13 p.
Journal article

Sustainable thermal technologies and care homes: productive alignment or risky investment?
Neven, L., Walker, G., Brown, S. 09/2015 In: Energy Policy. 84, p. 195-203. 9 p.
Journal article

An array of deficits: unpacking NIMBY discourses in wind energy developers' conceptualizations of their local opponents
Burningham, K., Barnett, J., Walker, G. 4/03/2015 In: Society and Natural Resources. 28, 3, p. 246-260. 15 p.
Journal article

How does air conditioning become ‘needed’?: a case study of routes, rationales and dynamics
Walker, G., Shove, E., Brown, S. 12/2014 In: Energy Research and Social Science. 4, p. 1-9. 9 p.
Journal article

What is energy for?: social practice and energy demand
Shove, E., Walker, G. 09/2014 In: Theory, Culture and Society. 31, 5, p. 41-58. 18 p.
Journal article

Material culture, room temperature and the social organisation of thermal energy
Shove, E., Walker, G., Brown, S. 06/2014 In: Journal of Material Culture. 19, 2, p. 113-124. 12 p.
Journal article

Transnational transitions: the diffusion and integration of mechanical cooling
Shove, E., Walker, G., Brown, S. 05/2014 In: Urban Studies. 51, 7, p. 1506-1519. 14 p.
Journal article

The dynamics of energy demand: change, rhythm and synchronicity
Walker, G. 03/2014 In: Energy Research and Social Science. 1, 1, p. 49-55. 7 p.
Journal article

A framework for profiling the characteristics of risk governance in natural hazard contexts
Walker, G., Tweed, F., Whittle, R. 30/01/2014 In: Natural hazards and earth system sciences. 14, 1, p. 155-164. 10 p.
Journal article

Environmental justice as empirical and normative
Walker, G. 2014 In: Analyse and Kritik. 36, 2, 7 p.

Placing the flood recovery process
Whittle, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Deeming, H., Walker, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, G., Watson, N. 2014 In: Displaced heritage. Woodbridge : The Boydell Press p. 199-206. 8 p. ISBN: 9781843839637.

School holiday shake up brings unintended consequences
Shove, E., Hui, A., Walker, G. 24/10/2013
Other contribution

Imagined publics and engagement around renewable energy technologies in the UK
Barnett, J., Burningham, K., Walker, G., Cass, N. 01/2012 In: Public Understanding of Science. 21, 1, p. 36-50. 15 p.
Journal article

Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics
Walker, G. 2012 London : Routledge. 256 p. ISBN: 9780415589734.

Perspectives on social capacity building for natural hazards: outlining an emerging field of research and practice in Europe
Kuhlicke, C., Steinfuehrer, A., Begg, C., Bianchizza, C., Bruendl, M., Buchecker, M., De Marchi, B., Di Masso Tarditti, M., Hoeppner, C., Komac, B., Lemkow, L., Luther, J., McCarthy, S., Pellizzoni, L., Renn, O., Scolobig, A., Supramaniam, M., Tapsell, S., Wachinger, G., Walker, G., Whittle, R., Zorn, M., Faulkner, H. 11/2011 In: Environmental Science and Policy. 14, 7, p. 804-814. 11 p.
Journal article

The Role for ‘Community’ in Carbon Governance
Walker, G. 09/2011 In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. 2, 5, p. 777-782. 6 p.
Journal article

Flood Risk, Vulnerability and Environmental Justice: evidence and evaluation of inequality in a UK context
Walker, G., Burningham, K. 05/2011 In: Critical Social Policy. 31, 2, p. 216-240. 25 p.
Journal article

Environmental Justice, Values and Biological Diversity: the San and the Hoodia Benefit Sharing Agreement.
Vermeylen, S., Walker, G. 04/2011 In: Environmental inequalities beyond borders: local perspectives on global injustices. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press p. 105-128. 24 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Assembling the flood: producing spaces of bad water in the city of Hull
Walker, G., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Walker, M. 2011 In: Environment and Planning A. 43, 10, p. 2304-2320. 17 p.
Journal article

Risk governance and natural hazards
Walker, G., Whittle, R., Medd, W., Watson, N. 2011 CapHaz-Net.
Commissioned report

Symmetries, expectations, dynamics and contexts: a framework for understanding public engagement with renewable energy projects
Walker, G., Devine Wright, P., Barnett, J., Burningham, K., Cass, N., Devine-Wright, H., Speller, G., Barton, J., Evans, B., Heath, Y., Infield, D., Parks, J., Theobald, K. 2011 In: Renewable energy and the public. London : Earthscan p. 2-14. 13 p. ISBN: 978-1-84407-863-9.

Public roles and socio-technical configurations: diversity in renewable energy deployment in the UK and its implications
Cass, N., Walker, G. 3/11/2010 In: Renewable energy and the public. London : Earthscan ISBN: 9781844078639.

Environmental justice, impact assessment and the politics of knowledge: The implications of assessing the social distribution of environmental outcomes
Walker, G. 09/2010 In: Environmental Impact Assessment Review. 30, 5, p. 312-318. 7 p.
Journal article

Trust and community: Exploring the meanings, contexts and dynamics of community renewable energy
Walker, G., Devine-Wright, P., Hunter, S., High, H., Evans, B. 06/2010 In: Energy Policy. 38, 6, p. 2655-2663. 9 p.
Journal article

Governing transitions in the sustainability of everyday life
Shove, E., Walker, G. 05/2010 In: Research Policy. 39, 4, p. 471-476. 6 p.
Journal article

Renewable energy and sociotechnical change: imagined subjectivities of 'the public' and their implications
Walker, G., Cass, N., Burningham, K., Barnett, J. 04/2010 In: Environment and Planning A. 42, 4, p. 931-947. 17 p.
Journal article

After the rain - learning the lessons from flood recovery in Hull. Final project report for 'Flood, Vulnerability and Urban Resilience: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull'.
Whittle, R., Medd, W., Deeming, H., Kashefi, E., Mort, M., Walker, G., Watson, N. 02/2010 Lancaster UK, 176 p.
Working paper

Good Neighbours, Public Relations and Bribes: The Politics and Perceptions of Community Benefit Provision in Renewable Energy Development in the UK
Cass, N., Walker, G., Devine-Wright, P. 2010 In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. 12, 3, p. 255-275. 21 p.
Journal article

Beyond Distribution and Proximity: Exploring the Multiple Spatialities of Environmental Justice
Walker, G. 09/2009
Scientific review

Introduction Spaces of Environmental Justice: Frameworks for Critical Engagement
Holifield, R., Porter, M., Walker, G. 09/2009 In: Antipode. 41, 4, 22 p.

Submission by Lancaster University for Defra consultation on the Draft Flood and Water Management Bill.
Sims, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, G., Watson, N. 24/07/2009 Lancaster, 15 p.
Working paper

Emotion and rationality: the characterisation and evaluation of opposition to renewable energy projects
Cass, N., Walker, G. 07/2009 In: Emotion, Space and Society. 2, 1, p. 62-69. 8 p.
Journal article

Locally appropriate response and recovery – submission by Lancaster University for Defra consultation on the National Flood Emergency Framework.
Sims, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Twigger-Ross, C., Walker, G., Watson, N. 27/03/2009 Lancaster UK, 21 p.
Working paper

Environmental justice and normative thinking.
Walker, G. 2009 In: Antipode. 41, 1, p. 203-205. 3 p.
Journal article

Decentralised systems and fuel poverty: are there any links or risks?
Walker, G.P. 12/2008 In: Energy Policy. 36, 12, p. 4514-4517. 4 p.
Journal article

Environmental inequalities : reflections on a transdisciplinary seminar series.
Walker, G.P., Eames, M. 12/2008 In: Local Environment : The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 13, 8, p. 663-667. 5 p.
Journal article

The sceptical consumer? : exploring views about food assurance.
Eden, S., Bear, C., Walker, G.P. 12/2008 In: Food Policy. 33, 6, p. 624-630. 7 p.
Journal article

What are the barriers and incentives for community-owned means of energy production and use.
Walker, G.P. 12/2008 In: Energy Policy. 36, 12, p. 4401-4405. 5 p.
Journal article

Perspectives on resilience from households in Hull – response to Defra consultation on policy options for promoting property-level flood protection and resilience
Sims, R., Medd, W., Mort, M., Watson, N., Walker, G., Twigger-Ross, C. 31/10/2008 Lancaster UK, 27 p.
Working paper

Informatics Analysis for Hydro-power Schemes across Northwest England. (Presentation)
Aggidis, G.A., Leigh, P.A., Luchinskaya, E.R., Timmis, R., Howard, D.C., Walker, G., Cass, N., Beven, K., Heathwaite, A.L., Rothschild, R., Young, A., Haxton, T. 09/2008

Understanding heat wave vulnerability in nursing and residential homes.
Brown, S., Walker, G.P. 07/2008 In: Building Research and Information. 36, 4, p. 363-372. 10 p.
Journal article

Transition Management (TM) and the politics of shape shifting
Shove, E., Walker, G. 04/2008 In: Environment and Planning A. 40, 4, 3 p.

The ongoing experience of recovery for households in Hull – response to the Pitt Review Interim Report Learning the lessons from the 2007 floods, Chapter 9 of the Pitt Review Interim Report
Sims, R., Medd, W., Kashefi, E., Mort, M., Watson, N., Walker, G., Twigger-Ross, C. 31/03/2008 Lancaster UK, 14 p.
Working paper

Mucky Carrots and other proxies : problematising the knowledge fix for sustainable and ethical consumption.
Eden, S., Bear, C., Walker, G.P. 03/2008 In: Geoforum. 39, 2, p. 1044-1057. 14 p.
Journal article

Community renewable energy: what does it mean?
Walker, G.P., Devine Wright, P. 02/2008 In: Energy Policy. 36, 2, p. 497-500. 4 p.
Journal article

Understanding and (dis)trusting food assurance schemes : Consumer confidence and the ‘knowledge fix’.
Eden, S., Bear, C., Walker, G.P. 01/2008 In: Journal of Rural Studies. 24, 1, p. 1-14. 14 p.
Journal article

Transition management and the politics of shape shifting.
Shove, E., Walker, G.P. 2008 In: Environment and Planning A. 40, p. 1012-1014. 3 p.
Journal article

Carbon reduction, 'the public' and renewable energy: engaging with socio-technical configurations.
Walker, G., Cass, N. 1/12/2007 In: Area. 39, 4, p. 458-469. 12 p.
Journal article

Critical Perspectives on Integrated Water Management.
Watson, N., Walker, G., Medd, W. 12/2007 In: Geographical Journal. 173, 4, p. 297-299. 3 p.
Journal article

Ambivalence, sustainability and the governance of sociotechnical transitions.
Walker, G.P., Shove, E. 09/2007 In: Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. 9, 3-4, p. 213-225. 13 p.
Journal article

CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management
Shove, E., Walker, G. 04/2007 In: Environment and Planning A. 39, 4, 8 p.

Environmental justice and the distributional deficit in policy appraisal in the UK.
Walker, G.P. 2007 In: Environmental Research Letters. 2, 4, p. 45004.
Journal article

Methodological issues in the assessment of environmental equity and environmental justice.
Mitchell, G., Walker, G.P. 2007 In: Sustainable urban development : the environmental assessment methods. London : Routledge p. 447-472. 26 p. ISBN: 9780415322171.

Harnessing Community Energies: explaining and evaluating community-based localism in renewable energy policy in the UK.
Walker, G., Devine Wright, P., Evans, B., Hunter, S. 1/05/2006 In: Global Environmental Politics. 7, 2, p. 64-82. 19 p.
Journal article

Geographies of Environmental Justice.
Walker, G.P., Bulkeley, H. 10/03/2006 In: Geoforum. 37, 5, p. 655-659. 5 p.
Journal article

Green groups and grey areas : scientific boundary work, NGOs and environmental knowledge.
Eden, S., Donaldson, A., Walker, G.P. 2006 In: Environment and Planning A. 38, 6, p. 1061-1076. 16 p.
Journal article

Structuring Subjectivities : using Q methodology in human geography.
Eden, S., Donaldson, A., Walker, G.P. 12/2005 In: Area. 37, 4, p. 413-422. 10 p.
Journal article

Shared visions, unholy alliances: power, governance and deliberative processes in local transport planning.
Bickerstaff, K., Walker, G.P. 11/2005 In: Urban Studies. 42, 12, p. 2123-2144. 22 p.
Journal article

Environmental Justice: A New Agenda for the UK.
Bulkeley, H., Walker, G.P. 08/2005 In: Local Environment : The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 10, 4, p. 329-332. 4 p.
Journal article

Industrial pollution and social deprivation: evidence and complexity in evaluating and responding to environmental inequality.
Walker, G., Mitchell, G., Fairburn, J., Smith, G. 08/2005 In: Local Environment : The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 10, 4, p. 361-377. 17 p.
Journal article

Technological risk and sense of place : industrial encroachment on place values.
Simmons, P., Walker, G.P. 2005 In: Facility siting: risk, power and identity in land use planning. London : Earthscan p. 136-155. 20 p. ISBN: 1844071464.

Risk communication, public participation and the Seveso II directive.
Walker, G.P., Simmons, P., Irwin, A., Wynne, B.E. 1/03/1999 In: Journal of Hazardous Materials. 65, 1-2, p. 179-190. 12 p.
Journal article

Faulty environments and risk reasoning : the local understanding of industrial hazards.
Irwin, A., Simmons, P., Walker, G.P. 1999 In: Environment and Planning A. 31, 7, p. 1311-1326. 16 p.
Journal article

Tolerating risk : policy principles and public perceptions.
Simmons, P., Walker, G.P. 1999 In: Risk, Decision and Policy. 4, 3, p. 179-190. 12 p.
Journal article