Author Archives: openspaceeditor

Dr Simon Bell on New Books Network Podcast

Dr Simon Bell’s latest book came out recently, published by Routledge – the 3rd Edition of his book “Elements of Visual Design in the Landscape” which was first published in 1993 and a second edition in 2004. In this podcast from the New Books Network Simon is interviewed by landscape architect Tricia Keffer about the book and about himself.

BBC2 ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ – Can time in nature improve my health?

Last night on BBC2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor Catharine Ward Thompson’s work was featured regarding the effect of green spaces on the health of office workers.  A couple of familiar faces volunteered as participants for the study – Bobby and Claire Pembleton. Follow this link to learn more about it:

Ethnographies of Collaborative Economi(es) Conference

Date: 25 October

Start time: 9:00am

End time: 5:30pm

Location: West Court, Main Building Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place

Organising Committee: Dr Penny Travlou (ESALA, University of Edinburgh) and Professor Luigina Ciolfi (Sheffield Hallam University)


In this one-day research conference on Friday 25 October 2019, we  bring together interdisciplinary scholars to explore ethnographic accounts and understandings of collaborative economy practices and communities, and therefore contributing to the development of a multi-faceted view on sharing and caring practices. The conference also focuses on the methodological aspects of studying collaborative economi(es) e.g. collaborative ethnography, participatory action research, co-design etc. We see this conference as an opportunity to develop a more holistic perspective on studying collaborative economies, and to connect this scholarship to recent research on sharing and caring practices.

The conference is supported by the COST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Examining the Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy” (CA16121, 2017-2021), developing a network of actors focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on social and technological implications of the collaborative economy through a practice focused approach.

The Conference is free, but places are limited. So registration is required via eventbrite:

EU COST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy” Working Group Meetings and Core Management Meeting

Event title: EU COST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy” Working Group Meetings and Core Management Meeting

Date: 23 – 24 October

Full Day

Location: West Court, Main Building Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place

Host Organiser: Dr Penny Travlou (ESALA, University of Edinburgh)

Project Leader: Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland)


The main objective of this EU COST Action is to develop a European network of actors (including scholars, practitioners, communities and policy makers) focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on social and technological implications of the collaborative economy through a practice-focused approach.

On 23 and 24 October 2019, the Working Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4 will meet in Edinburgh to discuss their up-to-date activities and outputs for the COST Action. The programme includes a selection of invited speakers, as well as presentations by COST Action members. On 24 October (afternooon), there will also be the Core Management Committee meeting where the Project Leader, Dr Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick) together with the Working Group Leaders will report on the current activities of the COST Action.

The host organiser for all above meetings is Dr Penny Travlou (ESALA) who is part of the MC and WG1 Leader.

Dr Simon Bell at EUROPARC Conference 2019

Last month Dr Simon Bell, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of OPENspace, spoke at the EUROPARC Conference 2019, Latvia which took place in Kemeri National Park from September 24-27. He talked about balancing accessibility and use of nature (the pressures of visitors to protected areas especially) with the capacity and limitations of the natural landscape – so as to prevent physical and ecological damage or disturbance as well as to ensure a good experience by the visitors. If you would like to hear his talk please see the video below.

Thu. 4th July @ 12pm – Visiting talk by Professor Ye Liu from Sun-Yat-sen University, China

Time: 12.00-13.00, 4 July 2019 (Thursday)
Venue: Drummond Street, Room (2.01)
Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP

Title: Urban greenery and mental wellbeing in adults: Mediation analyses on multiple pathways based on streetscape greenery measures

Speaker: Professor Ye Liu – Sun-Yat-sen University, China

Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain how greenery in the vicinity of people’s homes enhances their mental health and wellbeing. Mediation studies, however, focus on a limited number of mechanisms and rely on remotely sensed greenery measures, which do not accurately capture how neighborhood greenery is perceived on the ground. This study aims to examine: 1) how streetscape and remote sensing-based greenery affect people’s mental wellbeing; 2) whether and to what extent the associations are mediated by physical activity, stress, air quality and noise, and social cohesion; and 3) whether differences in the mediation across the streetscape greenery and NDVI exposure metrics occurred. We used a population sample from 2016 of 1,029 adult residents of the metropolis of Guangzhou, China. Two objective greenery measures were extracted at the neighborhood level: 1) streetscape greenery from street view data via a convolutional neural network, and 2) the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from Landsat 8 remote sensing images. Single and multiple mediation analyses with multilevel regressions were conducted. Regression results show that mental health and wellbeing and both streetscape and satellite-derived greenery seem to be both directly correlated and indirectly mediated. Our findings signify that both greenery measures capture different aspects of natural environments and may contribute to people’s wellbeing by means of different mechanisms.

Bio of the speaker:
Dr. Ye Liu is currently a Professor in the School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, China. Prior to joining Sun Yat-sen University in 2017, he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of St Andrews (UK), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), and University of Lethbridge (Canada). His primary research interests focus on Health Inequalities, Health and Wellbeing in the Urban Environment, Migration and Urbanization. His research works have been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Regional Studies, Urban Studies, Population Space and Place, Landscape and Urban Planning, Cities, Urban Geography, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Environment International, Journal of Affective Disorders and Environmental Research. He is sponsored by the Recruitment Program for Young Professionals of the ‘Thousand Talents Plan’ (qian ren ji hua). He is the Principal Investigator of two research projects funded by Natural Science Foundation of China.

Learn more about about our NIHR-funded project, Woods In and Around Towns, from this newly published paper

‘Enhancing Health Through Access to Nature: How Effective are Interventions in Woodlands in Deprived Urban Communities? A Quasi-experimental Study in Scotland, UK’ is the title of a new paper that’s just been published online (Open Access), relating to our NIHR-funded project on Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT). Click here to read more or to download a PDF version of the paper.

WIAT Community Events – March 2019

We are hosting 3 events at the end of March 2019 to present the results of the study and provide an opportunity to meet with some of the researchers and rangers involved in the project.

We will be hosting events at the following locations: 
– Linwood on Monday 25th March (book here)
– Pollok on Tuesday 26th March (book here)
– Mayfield on Wednesday 27th March (book here). 

All events will run as drop-in sessions from 6 – 7pm, so feel free to turn up whenever is convenient (although booking is preferred).

Please note there will be a short presentation at 6:15pm. Refreshments will be provided.

Our animation below is a summary of research that’s been conducted on woods and wellbeing in Scotland. In particular, we focus on a study we completed that examines the impact of Forestry Commission Scotland’s ‘Woods In and Around Towns’ (WIAT) programme on community stress levels and wellbeing. 

If you would like more information about the study please visit our Community page, where you can also download a summary of the research, as well as our final report.