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School of Geography

Anna McLauchlan Dr Anna McLauchlan

Contact details

Room 10.135
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 113 343 8244

Student hours:
Please email me to arrange an appointment

Work in progress

EU environmental law and social justice
This collaborative body work (with Elsa João) focuses on the methods used to inform European Union (EU) environmental commitments to sustainability and social justice. In particular, the widespread application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) as a result of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (SEA Directive).

This environmental assessment regime is mandatory in all 28 EU countries for a large number plans and programmes ‘prepared for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste/ water management, telecommunications, tourism, town & country planning or land use’ (European Commission). In support of broader EU commitments to sustainability, the SEA Directive intends to ensure that significant impacts on the environment are acknowledged, assessed and where possible prevented or mitigated.

Contributions include: a report for Scottish Environmental Link that informed the roles undertaken by an administrative unit within the Scottish Government and the development of primary legislation in Scotland (McLauchlan and João 2005, see also McLauchlan and Walker 2004); an in-depth critical examination of the relationship between SEA and environmental justice policy (McLauchlan and João 2011); an investigation of the capacity of SEA to be a tool to contribute to high-level policy objectives (João and McLauchlan 2011); a path breaking inquiry into the tensions of  ‘going further’ than the SEA Directive through an enhancement of this mechanism (McLauchlan and João 2012); and a discussion of practitioner responses to SEA (João and McLauchlan 2014).

My current work in this area takes a practical look at what it means to ‘go further’ than the SEA Directive by assessing over 12 years of Scottish SEA records. This work informs an invited contribution to a special issue of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal (IAPA) that runs alongside the broader EU ‘refit’ of the SEA Directive due in late 2019.

Swimming in the city
Swimming is one of the most popular leisure pursuits in the UK and US and it is also credited with many health and therapeutic benefits. Consequently, recent closures of ‘historic’ swimming pools and the decline in swimming uptake have received attention from academics and the broader media. This research opens up the debate about swimming infrastructures by examining the changing geographies of swimming pool provision in cities.

My first historical study reveals Lessons from Glasgow 1804-2014. In particular, the need to extend understandings of public service provision to both include 'public' pools and facilities designated as 'educational'. Some of the quantitative data used to inform this study is downloadable from the Research Data Leeds Repository.

Satellites Programme 2017 Commission. Collective, Edinburgh
Collective is an organisation that supports a diversity of contemporary arts that have a base at The City Observatory site on Calton Hill, Edinburgh. This commission involves writing about Satellites, Collective's development programme for emergent artists and producers based in Scotland. In preparation for that writing, each of the five Satellites commissions were visited in turn. As a result of these visits five interrelated texts were composed sequentially for the Scottish Arts Magazine Map.

Below are links to each text followed by archived information about the associated project:

These texts, alongside the main commission which functions as an introduction, are being published as the following book, available at launch of the newly renovated site of The City Observatory later this summer:

Armour, T., Johnston, G. and McLauchlan, A. eds. 2018. Wake up and the world is different. Edinburgh: Collective.