Greater Manchester Landscapes

Symposium organised by:

Paul Mahony, Countryscape, Manchester, UK.

Jonathan Porter, Countryscape, Manchester, UK.

Laura Jagota, Countryscape, Manchester, UK.


The symposium will explore the changing urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes in and around Manchester, considering pioneering local research and practice alongside international experience. The symposium will bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners, stimulating debate around future landscapes in post-industrial cities around the world.


Manchester is a vibrant modern city with ancient origins and rich industrial heritage. Manchester’s precocious history of massive urbanism, industrialisation and post-industrial resilience has many lessons for landscape research. The textile industry and related commerce boomed during the 18th and 19th centuries in Manchester and the local economy thrived. The growth in industry resulted in a huge population influx and urban expansion. During the middle of the last century industry declined and many areas of the city which had previously flourished began to degenerate.

The story today is very different. Regeneration in Manchester has changed the face of the city encouraging innovation and new industries. Manchester is now home to many galleries and museums, top international companies and exceptional universities, making it a thriving creative city with great cultural diversity. There remain many social and environmental challenges in the city and its surrounding landscapes, including the need to regenerate areas of economic deprivation and the challenges presented by climate change.

Many innovative approaches to landscape have been developed in Greater Manchester and in the wider region, including landscape restoration, green infrastructure, urban ecology, community participation and climate change mitigation and adaptation. As well as world leading research, Greater Manchester has seen pioneering practical landscape initiatives including river basin planning, community forestry, innovative third sector organisations and partnerships including private businesses.

This symposium will consider local research and practice alongside international examples. The symposium will include presentations from researchers, policy makers and practitioners as well as facilitated workshop sessions to develop a vision for Greater Manchester informed by landscape ecology.


The outputs of this symposium will be rapidly published as an ebook, map and website. The symposium will build and strengthen international research networks and form the basis of a collaborative review paper.

Oral presentations