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Personal profile


Susanne Charlesworth is a Professor in Urban Physical Geography at Coventry University in the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. She is the author of more than 70 peer reviewed journal articles on urban pollution and Sustainable drainage (SuDS), many book chapters, and has co-edited books on Sustainable Drainage, urban pollution, aquatic sedimentology and water resources. She collaborates with groups internationally and has given papers at international conferences worldwide

SuDS seemed like the logical move from my earlier interest in urban sedimentology and geochemistry associated with rivers, streams, soil and street dusts. These materials can be highly polluted and in developed countries 85% of people live in urban areas, worldwide >50% live in cities, thus the impacts can be far-reaching. With climate change and the problems associated with greenhouse gases, there needs to be a means of tackling these issues with a multiple benefit, flexible approach, and SuDS can offer such a management strategy. The role of Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services provision led to an interest in Natural Flood Management (NFM) by Working with Natural processes at the catchment scale. Latterly, Sue has become particularly interested in the design and installation of SuDS and NFM alongside Water, Sanitation and Health in informal settlements, favelas and refugee camps. There is the potential to address disease vecors such as mosquitos by managing greywater disposal and stormwater management using SuDS approaches and thus reducing the incidence of viruses causing zika, dengue or chikungunya. Its uptake in England and Wales is less than would be hoped, so through my research I would like to be able to be instrumental in providing the information necessary to encourage its uptake by practitioners and stakeholders.

Research Interests

SuDS; design and installation of SuDS in informal settlements, favelas and refugee camps; role of Green Infrastructure; Ecosystem Services Provision; Urban lake and river sediments; Urban Physical Processes: Urban Hydrology; The risk to children’s health of contaminants in playground material;  Efficiency of porous paving in degrading oil and dealing with metal pollutants

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Research Output 2002 2019

Development of a Geospatial Data-Based Methodology for Stormwater Management in Urban Areas Using Freely-Available Software

Allende-Prieto, C., I.Méndez-Fernández, B., Sanudo-Fontaneda, L. & Charlesworth, S. 9 Aug 2018 In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 15, 8, 11 p., 8

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Geographic Information Systems
City Planning

End-of-life of a Sustainable Drainage System: Assessment of Potential Risk of Water Pollution through Leaching of Metals

Mbanaso, F., Charlesworth, S., Coupe, S., Newman, A. & Nnadi, E. 7 Sep 2018 p. 12 45 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

water pollution

Exploring the effects of geotextiles in the performance of highway filter drains for sustainable and resilient highway drainage

Sanudo-Fontaneda, L., Coupe, S., Charlesworth, S. & Rowlands, E. G. 3 Apr 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Geotextiles & Geomembranes. (In-Press), p. (In-Press) 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mineralogical and environmental features of the asturian copper mining district (Spain): A review

Álvarez, R., Ordóñez, A., Pérez, A., De Miguel, E. & Charlesworth, S. Sep 2018 In : Engineering Geology. 243, p. 206-217 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

spoil heap
pollutant source
X-ray fluorescence
health and safety

Activities 1991 2016

  • 41 Participation in conference
  • 17 Editorial activity

4th Annual Water Efficiency Conference

Charlesworth, S. (Convenor)
7 Sep 20169 Sep 2016

Activity: Participation in conference

SUDsnet International Conference 2015

Charlesworth, S. (Co-convenor)
3 Sep 20155 Sep 2015

Activity: Participation in conference

Water Efficiency in Building Research Network Conference

Charlesworth, S. (Speaker)
9 Sep 201411 Sep 2014

Activity: Participation in conference

Thematic Conferences

Charlesworth, S. (Speaker)
23 Jun 201327 Jun 2013

Activity: Participation in conference

Practical Strategies for Improved Flood Risk Management

Charlesworth, S. (Speaker)
18 Sep 2013

Activity: Participation in conference