Dr. Michael Hardman

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Michael Hardman

Contact Details

Peel Building Room G33

Please email for an appointment.



Current positions

Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography


I am currently Senior Lecturer in Urban Geography at the University of Salford and lead the undergraduate programmes in Geography, Environmental Management and Archaeology division. I am also the lead for the research hub on Care and Urban Farming at Salford. Before joining Salford in 2013, I was a Research Fellow in Birmingham on the UK National Ecosystem Follow-On project, working alongside DEFRA, Natural England, the Environment Agency and others to explore the mainstreaming of the ecosystem approach concept.

I am an interdisciplinary academic who has been involved in over 47 projects as both a PI and CO-I. I have obtained funding from charities, research councils, industrial partners, European funders, global bodies and more; my work is impact driven and applied in nature, resulting in policy/behaviour change, environmental improvements and other impacts. An example of such impacts can be seen with my work on Northern Roots, the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park, which I have been leading a team on since 2017. This research has led to over 400 media appearances in for the likes of the BBC (TV/radio/news), Independent, The Telegraph, various local media outlets and global media (e.g. Russia’s Sputnik).  

I have published widely on topics from guerrilla gardening to urban food growing, radical green infrastructure, sustainable transport and other areas. Publications include articles in the British Medical Journal to Landscape and Urban Planning, Urban Studies and other publications; I have also authored a book and multiple book chapters with various publishers. I am currently the Senior Editor for the Taylor and Francis open access journal Cogent Social Sciences and also hold an editorial role with the journal of Acta Horticulturae et Regiotectura, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra.

Stemming from this work, I have keynoted at a wide variety of major international events, such as the international Society of City and Regional Planners Congress in South Africa to a UNESCO event in Oregon, USA and some 37 other keynotes in the likes of France, Slovakia and across the UK. Alongside my academic roles, I hold several non-academic positions with organisations, from an ambassador for Social Farms & Gardens to an advisor for Food Sync and member of a number of other similar organisations.

Areas of research

Urban Agriculture, Sustainable Cities, Planning, Green Infrastructure, Food Security

Areas of supervision

Urban food security, Green infrastructure, with a particular focus on cities, The broad field of sustainability, Planning and human geography studies in general


As Programme Leader for Geography. Environmental Management and Archaeology, I currently oversee the undergraduate provision in the department. Before this role, I was the Programme Leader for the MSc Sustainability, focussing on postgraduate study. I currently lead 7 modules across both undergraduate and postgraduate level, ranging from modules on urban geography to planning, international study and beyond. I also lead the international fieldcourse to Barcelona and Amsterdam in the final year, which is open to all students.  

I have held several external examining positions, my most recent as the external for the University of the West of England geography and planning programmes. Previously I have held roles with the Cambridge Education Group and acted as an external validator for a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. My work with the Royal Geographical Society and Geographical Association has led to the development of tools to impact on high school curriculums, allowing teachers to use a range of resources to support their work.  

Research Interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary and surround the broad area of sustainable urban environments with my work particularly focusing on the idea of urban agriculture and sustainable cities. I am perhaps most known for my work around guerrilla gardening and how informal activities can make a significant impact in cities. This has led to global research in the likes of South Africa (funded by the National Research Foundation) to work with UNESCO and other bodies.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • PhD in Planning 2013 (Birmingham City University)
  • MA (with Merit) in the Contemporary City 2009 (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • PGCert in Academic Practice 2014 (University of Salford)
  • BSc (Hons) Geography 2008 (Manchester Metropolitan University)


  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (including co-founder of the Food Geographies Research Group – currently committee lead role)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Invited member of the international Carrot City Research Group in Toronto, Canada (only UK academic, more info: http://www.ryerson.ca/carrotcity/team.html)
  • Member of the British Sociological Association (equivalent to Fellow in other societies)
  • Member of the Town and Country Planning Association (equivalent to Fellow in other societies)
  • Member of the Urban Morphology Research Group (equivalent to Fellow in other societies)
  • Member of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (equivalent to Fellow in other societies)
  • Vice-Chancellor appointed member on the Manchester and Salford Universities Military Education Committee (August 2013 – Present)
  • Invited Member of the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit, NMWSS, University of Salford
  • Invited Member of the Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF), SOBE, University of Salford 
  • Member of the Ecosystem and Environment Research Group, ELS, University of Salford
  • Lead of the Salford Care and Urban Farm Hub
  • Member of the Salford Social Prescribing Hub
  • Member of the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies Unit, Health & Society, University of Salford
  • Member of the Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF), University of Salford 

Post graduate research

In 2020, I was awarded the ‘highly commended’ prize in the best PhD supervisor awards at Salford. I have successfully supervised over 8 PGRs to completion and currently supervise a wide range of researchers working on topics from the health benefits of green space to urban food growing and more. My PhD students include recent graduates, to lecturers from other institutions and directors of major organisations, both at a national and international level. I welcome PGR applications which focus on my areas of research around the broad field of sustainability studies.