The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Emmanuel Osuteye

Dr Emmanuel Osuteye

Lecturer: Urbanisation and Sustainable Development

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
17th Nov 2015

Research summary

My current research interests span across the following areas and sub-themes (with an African focus):

Climate Change, Disaster Risk and Poverty Reduction

My research seeks to create a better understanding of the nature and scale of disaster risks, and the underlying accumulation factors in large  urban centres, especially in the light of climate change. It explores how African cities which are experiencing some of the fastest urbanisation rates in the world can mitigate and adapt to a changing climate, build resilience and leverage their growth to stimulate  economic opportunities that reduces poverty.

Environmental Politics and Justice

My principal research interests are in the emergence and formation of environmental movements and NGOs, environmental protest, and the interactions between environmental campaigners and industry, government and governmental agencies. I focus on capturing the unique features of grassroots, bottom-up community engagement in environmental governance and sustainability issues (in both rural and urban settings), and the contentious processes of addressing perceived environmental injustice.

Environmental Law and policy

My research focuses on the legislative and regulatory fragilities that impinge on sustainable development efforts in African countries (especially in the extractive/mining sector). It examines the changing landscape of domestic and regional policy reform, especially efforts that are influenced by environmental movements or NGO activity.

Furthermore, I am interested in the specific development of Climate Change Law and policy and the emerging regulatory attempts aimed at addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Teaching summary

Prior to Joining UCL, Emmanuel had taught a variety of environment and policy modules at Queen Mary University of London, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent, and supervised dissertations on the postgraduate environmental law and policy programme.

At UCL, he contributes to teaching selected modules across the Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD), Urban Development Planning (UDP) and Development Administration and Planning (DAP) Masters programmes and supervises dissertations. 


University of Kent
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2015
University of Kent
Other higher degree, Master of Laws | 2011
University of Kent
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Certificate | 2011
University of Ghana
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2008


Emmanuel is an environmental, social and legal researcher with a personal and professional passion for sustainable development in the developing world, and Africa in particular. He has a multi-disciplinary background in both the natural and social sciences, and works within the context of environmental policy and regulation, resource management, climate change adaptation and related social issues.

His PhD research was a systematic study of the nature of environmentalism (issues of environmental concern, effects of problems, and local responses) in Ghana, West Africa. It also focused on investigating the emergence of a small, yet viable indigenous environmental movement (local partnerships and networks for collective environmental action). 

Emmanuel has significant in-country research and consultancy experience in a number of African countries including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania and The Gambia and regularly provides technical inputs to sustainable development policy formulation & implementation processes. These include including working on the ‘EU Global Climate Change Alliance’ (GCCA) project as a thematic contributor for the 2016 National Climate Change Policy for The Gambia; Contributing Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report (WG II - on global climate change impact, adaptation and vulnerability); serving on the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Expert Working Group on Climate Resilience and Adaptation, and contributing author to the UN Secretary General's Quadrennial Report (2022) on the progress of the New Urban Agenda.