Prof Gordon Walker

Professor

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

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