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School of Geography

Gordon Mitchell Dr Gordon Mitchell

Contact details

Room Miall Building Room 101.5
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 36721

Student hours:
I have an open door policy, so all hours are available; however you are strongly encouraged to email

Research overview

Dr Gordon Mitchell (C.Env, MIEMA) has research interests in environmental planning, environmental assessment (particularly tools to support SEA/ sustainability appraisal) and natural resource management. Recent projects have addressed diffuse pollution screening for sustainable urban drainage systems, multi-criteria appraisal of urban growth plans, industrial water demand forecasting, air quality responses to urban road user charging, and analysis of the social distribution of environmental risk in the UK.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable Cities
  • Urban diffuse pollution
  • Non-domestic water demand forecasting
  • Environmental assessment of transport networks
  • Environmental justice assessment
  • Sustainability indicators
  • Review work

PhD Supervision

  • Environmental and sustainability impact appraisal (any method or context)
  • Urban and regional planning, design and management for sustainability
  • Natural resource and environmental management, including but not limited to water resources, diffuse urban water pollution, energy and emissions, green technology and ecosystem services
  • Environmental justice.

Research Students

  • Alice Owen. Green technology diffusion and adoption.
  • Faith Chan (with Adrian McDonald). Sustainability Appraisal of flood risk management strategies: the case of the Pearl River Delta, China.
  • Olalaken Adekola (with Alan Grainger) Valuation of wetland ecosystems in Nigeria
  • Paula Micou (with Adrian McDonald) Strategies to meet water demand targets of Code for Sustainable building
  • Jing Ma (with Alison Heppenstall). Microsimulation of personal travel carbon emission in Beijing in response to urban design
  • Baoyin Liu (with Yim Ling, SEE)  Developing a multi-hazard risk appraisal model with reference to the Yangtze river delta, China.
  • Eran Sadek, (with Linda See) Microsimulation of Domestic Water Demand incorporating expressed behaviour (Awarded 2012)



  • Liu, B., Siu, Y L., Mitchell, G., Xu, W. (2012) Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment: A Comparative Evaluation of Alternative Approaches. From surprise to rationality: Managing unprecedented large-scale disasters. Third Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM), Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, Sept. 7-9.
  • FKS Chan, Mitchell, G  and McDonald, A.  (2012) Flood risk appraisal and management in mega-cities: A case study of practice in the Pearl River Delta, China. International Water Association World Congress on Water, Climate and Energy, May 13-18, Dublin.
  • Micou, A P, Mitchell, G., McDonald, A (2011) Sustainable Homes: A methodology for assessing influence on regional water demand. Sixth IWA Specialist Conference on Efficient Use and Management of Water, Water Demand Management: Challenges & Opportunities, Amman, Jordon, March 29 - April 2, 2011
  • Namdeo, A., Goodman, P., Mitchell, G and Hargreaves, T. (2011)  Quantifying the Future Transport-related Air Quality Impacts of Land Policies for Cambridge, UK. Transportation Research Board conference on Transportation Planning, Land Use, and Air Quality, San Antonio, Texas, USA, May 9-10th 2011.
  • Chan, F.K.S., McDonald, A.T., and Mitchell, G. (2010) Sustainable flood risk assessment and management: comparative case studies between the Pearl River Delta and the UK. In: Kin-Chung (Ed.) Proceedings of International Conference on Water Resources and Water Quality: Forum on Water Resource Management and water Quality Management in Pearl River Delta. Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China. 13 - 18 December, 2010. 13pp
  • Namdeo, A.K., Mitchell, G. and Hargreaves, A.J. (2010) Traffic emissions and environmental impacts of land use and transport policies in North East England. Urban Environmental Pollution Conference, 20-23 June, Boston, USA.
  • Namdeo, A. Mitchell, G. and Hargreaves, A.J. (2010) Carbon impacts of land use and transport policies in the London and South East Region (LASER) of UK. Urban Futures for a Sustainable World: 10th Urban Environment Symposium, Gothenburg, Sweden 9-11 June 2010, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Mitchell, G. (2009). Sustainability Appraisal of Development Plans: Experiences from the UK, Beijing Symposium on city region perspectives, University of Tsinghua, Beijing, 04-05 Nov 2009
  • Mitchell, G. (2009) Sustainability of urban form futures: evidence from two contrasting urban regions. Invited talk to the Department for Transport, Great Minster House, London, 2nd October 2009.
  • Crabree, B; Squibbs, G; Mitchell, G. and Ellor, B.  (2010) From Urban Point Source Control to Diffuse Pollution Reduction Measures - A River Basin Case Study of  Urban Wet Weather Discharge Control Strategies for the Water Framework Directive. Novatech 2010 - 7th International Conference on Sustainable Techniques and Strategies for Urban Water Management, Lyons, 29 June-1 July 2010
  • Thorpe, N.; Hargreaves, A.J.; Mitchell, G.; Namdeo, A.K.; Wright, S.D.; Brake, J.F.; Nelson, J.D. (2009) Spatial Development and the Sustainability of Urban Areas.   Proceedings of the 14th Hong Kong Society for Transport Studies (HKSTS) International Conference on Transportation and Geography Vol. 2 Session E5 p981-990 In (Eds.) Wang, D. and Li, S. Hong Kong (December 10th-12th) ISBN 978-98847-7-2
  • Mitchell, G and Namdeo, A. (2009) Sustainability appraisal of alternative urban forms : Results from contrasting UK regions. Presentation to the SOLUTIONS Final conference, June 23rd, The Institute of Physics, Portland Place, London. 
  • Chapman, P.J., McDonald, A.T., Tyson, R., Mitchell, G and Palmer S.M. (2009) Changes in water colour between 1986 and 2006 in the How Stean intakes to Scar House Reservoir, North Yorkshire.  British Soil Science Society Spring Conference; Predicting the future for highly organic soils, 5-7 May, Edinburgh.
  • Sadek E M, See L, Nawaz, R and Mitchell, G (2009) Estimating domestic water demand using a scenario-based spatial micro-simulation approach.  17th GIS Research UK (GISRUK) conference, University of Durham, April 1-3rd 2009.
  • Mitchell, G and Namdeo, A. (2008) Sustainability appraisal of urban development scenarios to 2031: The case of London and the Greater South East Region. Presentation to the SOLUTIONS annual conference, UCL, June 21st 2008. 
  • Mitchell, G. (2008) Environmental forecasting for sustainable development. Invited presentation to the ESRC Research Methods Festival, St Catherines College, Oxford University. July 2-4th, 2008.
  • Crabtree, B., Kelly, S. Green, H., Mitchell, G. and Squibbs, G. (2008). Water Framework Directive Catchment Planning – A Case Study Apportioning Loads and Assessing Environmental Benefits of Programmes of Measures. IWA 11th International Specialist Conference on Watershed And River Basin Management, 4-5 September 2008, Budapest, Hungary
  • Brian J. D’Arcy, G. Mitchell and Jonathan Bowes (2007) Tackling diffuse pollution:  establishing best practice methods.  The Water Summit, 18-19th September 2007, Olympia Conference Centre, London.
  • Crabtree, B., Kelly, S. Green, H., Mitchell, G. and Squibbs, G. (2007). Water Framework Directive Catchment Planning – Apportioning Loads and Assessing Environmental Benefits of Programmes of Measures. Presentation to the Wastewater planners user group (WaPUG), November 2007. (Best paper in conference prize)
  • Mitchell, G. and Namdeo, A. (2007). Sustainability appraisal of spatial strategies for the London and South East Region. Presentation to the third international conference on sustainability of land use and transport in outer neighbourhoods, University College London, London, July 11-12th.
  • Mitchell, G., McDonald, A. and Clarke, M. (2007). Applications of an urban diffuse pollution model to support WFD investment appraisal.  UNESCO-IHE Water Management Challenges in Global Change - CCWI2007 and SUWM2007,  De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, Conference, 3 – 5 September, 2007. 
  • Mitchell, G., Clarke, M and Garside, S. (2007). Estimating Diffuse Urban Runoff Loadings to the River Ribble. Invited presentation to the UKWIR / DEFRA conference on Analysis of Potential Solutions for Point and Diffuse Source Pollution to Achieve Water Framework Directive Good Status, Tuesday 24 April 2007, Queen Anne’s Gate, London.
  • Mitchell, G. (2006) Urban diffuse pollution: A screening tool to support risk assessment and SUDS planning. Invited presentation to the UK inter-agency non-agricultural diffuse pollution working group, DEFRA, London, June 7th 2006.
  • Ellis, J.B, G. Mitchell, D.M.Revitt and L. Scholes. (2006) Methodologies for characterising and managing urban diffuse source pollution. SEPA-US EPA joint TMDL workshop, Edinburgh, April 7th 2006
  • BJ D’Arcy, T Rosenqvist, G Mitchell, R Kellagher and S Billet.  Restoration challenges for urban rivers. Key note presentation for the International Water Quality Association specialist conference on diffuse pollution, Johannesburg, 9-12 August 2005. 
  • Mitchell, G. (2005). Air quality and social deprivation: empirical evidence from recent UK studies. CATCH: Clean, Accessible Transport for Healthy Communities conference, St. Georges Hall, Liverpool, June 28-29th 2005. 
  • Mitchell, G. (2005) Assessing the sustainability of development plans for outer urban areas: Some key issues for the SOLUTIONS project, Presentation to the 2nd International SOLUTIONS Conference, University College London, December 2005.
  • Namdeo, A. and Mitchell, G. (2005) Vehicle emissions under cordon and distance based road user charging:  An empirical study of Leeds, UK. In: Sokhi R S; Millan M M and Moussiopoulos N (Eds) Fifth International Conference on Urban Air Quality, 29-31 March 2005, Valencia.  (Abstract p59, full paper on CD) ISBN 1-898543-92-5
  • Mitchell, G.  (2004)  Sustainability of Land Use and Transport in Outer Neighbourhoods (SOLUTIONS): An Appraisal Framework. Presentation to the 1st International SOLUTIONS Conference, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, December 2004. 
  • Walker, G., Fairburn, J., Mitchell, G and Smith, G (2004) Industrial pollution and social deprivation: evidence and complexity in evaluating, explaining and responding to environmental inequity.  Royal Geographical Society-International Geographical Union joint conference, 15-20th August 2004, Glasgow.
  • Fairburn J, Smith G, Walker G and Mitchell G (2004) An analysis of environmental quality and social deprivation by ward in England. GISrUK conference, April 2004.
  • Mitchell, G. (2003) Urban Diffuse Pollution Modelling - Assessing Pollutant Loads for Strategic Planning of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Invited Poster Presentation to the Second Joint Agency Symposium on Improving Bathing Waters, 20-21st Nov 2003, Blackpool, UK. Environment Agency, SEPA, E&HSNI.
  • Mitchell, G.  (2002) Air Quality and Equity. Invited presentation to the 33rd Investigation of Air Pollution Standing Conference, The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK, Dec 4th 2002. On line at the National Environmental Technology Centre website. [Also as  invited presentations to the Merseyside Transport, Health and Environment Forum, Mersey Travel, Liverpool, 22nd Jan 2003; and to the Leeds Air Quality and Health Interest Group, Health Protection Agency, Jan 27th 2004].
  • Mitchell, G., Namdeo, A., Lockyer, J. and May, A.D. (2002). The Impact of Road Pricing and Strategic Road Transport Initiatives on Urban Air Quality. Eighth International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment in the 21st Century, 13-15 March, Seville, Spain.
  • Macoun, T., Mitchell, G. and Huovila, P. (2001). Measuring Urban Sustainability: The Challenge of Integrating Assessment Methods and Indicators. Presentation to the BEQUEST International Extranet Workshop, Lisbon, April 2001.
  • Namdeo, A., Mitchell, G., Dixon, R., May, A.D and Kay, D. (2000). A New Approach to Model Air Quality and Health Implications of Transport Scenarios. European Transport Conference 2000, Seminar D: Appraisal of Road Transport Initiatives, Vol. P349, 13-24, Cambridge, UK.
  • Namdeo, A.K., Dixon, R., Mitchell, G., May, A.D and Kay. D. (1999). Development and application of TEMMS, a Suite of Programs for Modelling and Mapping of Urban Traffic Emissions. In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Air and Waste Management Association, St. Louis, Missouri, June 20-24th, 1999, 16pp.
  • Mitchell, G. (1998). Demand Forecasting as a Tool for the Sustainable Development of Water Resources: Meeting the Needs of Future Generations, Low Income Families and the Environment. In: Grainger, A. (Ed). Achieving Sustainable Development: Assessing the Human, Spatial and Temporal Dimensions. Developed from a presentation to the EPSRC/ESRC Sustainable Cities conference: The University of Leeds, 31 March 1998.
  • May, A.D., Mitchell, G. and Kupiszewska, D. (1996). The Quantifiable City: The Development of a Modelling Framework for Urban Sustainability Research. In: Information Systems and Processes for Civil Engineering Applications, European Union Council on Science and Technology Urban Civil Engineering C4 Workshop. Rome, November 1996.
  • May, A.D., Mitchell, G. and Kupiszewska, D. (1995). The Leeds Quantifiable City Model. In: Brandon et al., (Eds.)  Environmental Impact Evaluation of Buildings and Cities for Sustainability: Aims, Methods and Case studies. Florence, 13-15 September 1995.
  • Mitchell, G. (1995). Measurement, Modelling and Management for a Sustainable City Presentation to the  TEMPUS-PHARE-TESSA Computers in Education and Environment conference, Torun, Poland, September 21-25, 1995.
  • McDonald, A.T., Edwards, A.M.C., Naden, P.S., Mitchell, G. and  Martin, D.S.J. (1989). Discoloured Runoff in the Yorkshire Pennines. Second National Hydrological Symposium, University of Sheffield, 4‑6th September 1989, 1, p59‑64.
  • McDonald, A.T., Naden, P.S., Mitchell, G. and Martin, D.S.J. (1987). Discoloured Runoff from Upland Gathering Grounds. In: Colour in Upland Waters. Edwards, A.M.C., Mitchell, G. and Martin, D.S.J. (Eds.), Proceedings of a one-day conference sponsored by Yorkshire Water and WRc., Leeds, September 1987, p24‑35.