Alistair Ford

Newcastle University


Alistair is a member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, having worked on the Tyndall Cities programme conducting urban integrated assessment of climate change adaptation and mitigation in London.
Alistair's work with the Tyndall Cities programme led to the EPSRC ARCADIA project, examining and modelling urban climate impacts, and the FP7 RAMSES project, conducting cost assessments for urban climate adaptation options. These projects have led to collaborations in London, Shanghai, Antwerp, Bilbao, and Newcastle with city decision-makers, industrial stakeholders, and NGO organisations. “Alistair is interested in developing tools that can be used by urban decision-makers to understand mitigation and adaptation strategies in cities, the conflicts and trade-offs between competing climate change-related objectives, and transitions to sustainable futures.”

Alistair joined the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences in 1998 as an undergraduate in Geographic Information Science. Since 2004 he has worked as a researcher applying GIS to a number of diverse applications, including land-use change, climate simulations, urban classification, transport modelling, and risk assessment. During this work he has been a member of a number of multi-disciplinary projects, both widening his experience of working with researchers from other disciplines and broadening his understanding of a diverse number of application areas.

The focus of Alistair's research is the provision of tools and models to aid decision-makers. Currently, he is developing spatial analytical tools within GIS for integrated spatial modelling and assessment of climate change impacts and socio-economic/land-use change. This work has involved both the development of spatial interfaces to climate change outputs (e.g., EARWIG) and also spatially-explicit models of city infrastructure for predictive land-use modelling and climate change impact assessment (e.g., Tyndall Cities programme).

Recent work has developed these concepts further to include the direct and indirect impacts of climate events on city systems in the form of heatwaves or flood events. In ARCADIA, Alistair has examined the impact of extreme temperatures on railway networks and the knock-on effects these disruptions can have on the wider urban economy. This work has been further developed in RAMSES, including new climate hazards (e.g. extreme rainfall and air quality) in order to better understand the true costs of future climate change to urban areas.

Alistair has presented his work widely at national and international conferences and symposia, and facilitated and moderated at events such as the ICLEI Open European Day in Bonn and the 2015 ECCA conference in Copenhagen. He has also contributed to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, delivering lectures on GIS, spatial modelling, and climate change in urban areas. Alistair has also delivered a number of courses to local governments and consultancies involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Selected Publications

Further publications:

Role on Tyndall Council
Newcastle Representative


Contact information


Postal Address
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Cassie Building University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Newcastle NE1 7RU UK