Vivid Economics is a premier economics consultancy in the policy commerce interface and resource-and environment-intensive sectors, where it advises on complex policy and commercial questions. The success it brings to its clients reflects a strong partnership culture and a solid foundation of skills and analytical assets. Established in 2006, it has become well recognised and trusted in the field and known for uncompromising quality. Natural resource management is a core area of work. / @VividEconomics


Robin Smale

I’m a Director and co-founder of Vivid Economics with over 20 years’ experience in the economics of energy and climate, natural resources management, infrastructure, heavy industry and finance. I’m the lead on this project and am excited by the opportunities new technology, data, analytical methods and scientific evidence mobile offer to understand patterns and drivers of greenspace use. I have led several hundred projects, for many of government and private sector clients, covering a wide range of strategic, policy, scenario, econometric, financial and market analyses. The portfolio includes ground-breaking analyses and contributions to key policy and commercial decisions. I head Vivid Economics’ earth observation and data analytics practice and contribute to its natural resources, energy and industry, and cities and infrastructure practices. I was also a founder member of the UK Natural Capital Committee 2012–15.

James Patterson-Waterson

I lead Vivid Economics’ Cities and Infrastructure team and have been engaged in international urban development projects for over ten years. My work has encompassed strategy and regeneration projects throughout the UK and internationally, both for the private sector and local and national governing authorities. My expertise is in urban and regional economic strategy development; feasibility studies; implementation planning; spatial and master planning; sustainable urban development; and area-based economic assessment. I’m therefore interested in how the tool can support spatial planning decisions and how it can fit seamlessly into the real estate development process, enhancing economic and social value. I am a member of the Institute of Economic Development and an elected Academician of the Academy of Urbanism.”

Therese Karger-Lerchl 

“As an urban economist and project manager for the whole team, I’m really excited by the opportunities new data sources and improved technology can provide to understand use patterns. I’m delighted my previous experience at the Open Data Institute (where I focused on digital and data infrastructure in cities) and the South African National Treasury (where I worked on municipal infrastructure financing) can be brought to bear on this project, and my role is to consistently ensure our diverse combined expertise makes maximum use of state-of-the-art technology and innovative data sources, to deliver a robust underlying analysis. Our end goal is very much to deliver an easy to use tool that can offer strong practical support to local authorities, developers and anyone else involved in city-making, informing and guiding decision-making, but fundamentally deliver continually improving green infrastructure across our cities.”

Mark Westcott

I’m an economist, data scientist and map addict. At Vivid, I specialise in applying econometric and spatial analysis to natural resource management and climate change adaptation policies. Recently I’ve worked on predicting deforestation in the Ivory Coast, modelled the vulnerability of coastal cities to climate change and led the development of a web-based platform for scenario modelling. I hold a PhD in Economics from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, where I made extensive use of modern econometric techniques, spatial analysis and big data. I was a visiting scholar at Stanford University and hold an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. My role in the project is focused on using big data to understand drivers of greenspace use.

Ashley Gorst

“I’m an economist focusing on using econometric tools, which have been applied to natural accounting frameworks and remote sensing data in the UK and abroad. Before this I studied for my PhD at the London School of Economics. I am interested in advancing the analysis of the benefits greenspaces provide, particularly those related health. I’m looking forward to working in a multidisciplinary team, mixing practical and academic expertise to produce work that has enduring value to those involved in managing the nation’s greenspaces.”

Karishma Gulrajani

“I joined Vivid Economics in June 2018, after working in competition economics, where I gained extensive experience in the application of microeconomics and data analysis across a broad range of industries. My role in the project focuses on identifying innovative methods to measure the value of urban greenspaces in order to inform policy decisions and private investment. I am excited to leverage new and robust data on park use to understand how greenspaces improve our well-being. I hold an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick.”

Shahbano Soomro

“I specialise in sustainable urban development at Vivid, with experience developing potential green growth pathways in the UK, Indonesia and Pakistan. From this experience, I’m driven to develop a tool that helps both policymakers and businesses maximise the opportunities of urbanisation and growth by investing effectively in urban greenspaces. I’m keen to develop a tool that will be widely applicable, in the UK and internationally. I hold a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and an MSc in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po, Paris. My role in the project will span from data analysis to communication of the tool’s findings.”

Caroline Vexler

“I joined Vivid Economics in September 2018 as part of the Cities & Infrastructure and Natural Resources practice areas. I am passionate about sustainable resource management, with a particular interest in fisheries and agriculture. I have previously worked on projects which examined the shortcomings of ecosystem service valuation for vital natural resources, and I’m excited about contributing to a project that will make valuation tools more easily accessible to critical decisionmakers. I hold an MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Economics from Brown University.”

Neeraj Baruah

“Im a GIS specialist with a particular focus on applying economic frameworks to earth observation data. My experience includes working with development finance institutions, universities, research organisations, and private entities in the extraction of derivative products and indices from earth observation data, with a major focus on cities and infrastructure, development economics and natural resources management. I led the earth observation team on the World Bank funded ‘Urbanisation in Developing Countries’ and ‘Spatial Development of African Cities’ projects based at the London School of Economics and Oxford University, where I managed the development of automated algorithms to extract economic indices from high resolution satellite imagery in over 60 Sub-Saharan African cities. In my doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, I used deep machine-learning algorithms to extract and classify urban retail infrastructure from earth observation and volunteered geographic information data. I’m excited to apply these and new methods to better understanding how we can measure and enhance the quality of urban greenspaces.”