Author Archives: openspaceeditor

Opportunity alert – Landscape and Wellbeing Research Associate

Applications are invited for a Research Associate in the field of Landscape and Wellbeing. The post will be based in the OPENspace Research Centre, within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), in collaboration with colleagues in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) in the School of GeoSciences, and the School of Health in Social Sciences.

The closing date for applications is 11th March 2024. For more information and to apply, please click here.

Job Description

Salary: £37,099 – £44,263, Grade UE07, per annum (A revised salary range for this grade of £39,347 – £46,974 pa is planned to take effect from Spring 2024)

 Location: The University of Edinburgh

Fixed Term until 30 September 2026

The successful post-holder will work across two interdisciplinary research projects:

  • GroundsWell, a UK Prevention Research Partnership-funded consortium that applies systems science theory to maximise the contribution of Urban Green and Blue Space to the primary prevention of, and reduction of inequalities in, non-communicable diseases in urban settings; and
  • WIAT2, an ESRC-funded study using secondary data to examine whether a programme of physical and social interventions in urban forests enhances community health and wellbeing.

Opportunity alert – Research Fellow, Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC)

We are recruiting for a social science Research Fellow, contributing longitudinal, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research to the ACRC programme (Work Package 4). The post holder will work across OPENspace and the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC), with a base in both spaces.

The closing date for applications is 11th March 2024. For more information and to apply, please click here.

Job Description

Salary: £37,099 – £44,263, Grade UE07, per annum (A revised salary range for this grade of £39,347 – £46,974 pa is planned to take effect from Spring 2024)

📍 Location: The University of Edinburgh – ACRC/OPENspace, Edinburgh College of Art

Fixed Term until 31 December 2025

The ACRC programme, led by the University of Edinburgh, has been established to research and develop innovative solutions for the care of people in later life that can promote and maintain healthy ageing. Central to the ACRC interdisciplinary approach is a commitment to working in partnership with people in later life, their families, and communities, and to creating a sustainable UK-wide collaboration to ensure excellence and impact.

Opportunity alert – Community Engagement and Co-Production Researcher

Applications are invited for a part-time Researcher, specialising in community engagement and co-production.

The successful post-holder will join GroundsWell: a large UK-wide consortium evaluating the health and well-being benefits of urban green and blue spaces.

The closing date for applications is 4th March 2024. For more information and to apply, please click here.

Dr Scott Ogletree’s research featured in The Guardian, revealing the impact of green space on cellular aging

The Guardian article focuses on findings from a recent study led by Dr Scott Ogletree, into the relationship between greenspace exposure and telomere length. The study found that those living in neighbourhoods with more green spaces had longer telomeres, the protective structures at the end of chromosomes associated with cellular health and aging. Telomeres prevent DNA unravelling and longer telomeres allow cells to replicate more times.

The study, based on the survey responses and medical records of over 7,800 participants, revealed that a 5% increase in neighbourhood green space was associated with a 1% reduction in cellular aging. However, the positive effects were less pronounced in low-income or segregated areas, indicating that a neighbourhood context, including deprivation, pollution, and segregation, may influence the health benefits of green spaces.

Photo by Matthias Zomer

Landscape Forum 2024: Tartu and South Estonia

The Landscape Forum 2024 will take place in Tartu, Estonia, from 24-28 June 2024.

The forum, which is hosted by the Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMU), will focus on the topic of The Landscape as the Container of the Bioeconomy with working groups on water, forests, fibrescapes, foodscapes, mobility and nature tourism. As well as cross-cutting themes on landscape economy and landscape democracy.

The Landscape Forum aims to stimulate knowledge building, collaboration and action for local sustainable development, while integrating a European dimension. It provides a unique opportunity to interact creatively with colleagues from a range of landscape disciplines through informal workshops and in field visit settings.

Registration is now open, with early bird fees applicable until 30 April 2024.

Congratulations to Dr Scott Ogletree on receiving the WIMEK research fellowship 2024 at Wageningen University & Research

Dr Scott Ogletree has been awarded a visiting research fellowship this coming summer at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. Scott will be collaborating with Agnès Patuano to explore the potential of Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) for testing the effects of design scenarios on the health of urban communities, in an effort to develop Research through Design methodologies. During his stay, Scott will also contribute to selected courses via guest lectures and provide reviews for courses in Landscape Architecture and Planning. The visit will be an opportunity to build networks and collaboration between OPENspace and other researchers in landscape and health.

Agnès is an Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning and a former postdoctoral researcher with OPENspace. She also completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2017 with Professor Catharine Ward Thompson and Prof Peter Aspinall.

Scott’s visit will run from mid-June to mid-July 2024.

Prof Catharine Ward Thompson contributing to a new parliamentary inquiry into Urban Green Spaces

OPENspace Co-Director, Prof Catharine Ward Thompson, is contributing to a new parliamentary inquiry into Urban Green Spaces.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee invited Prof Ward Thompson to attend an oral evidence session in the House of Commons, Westminster, on 5th December 2023 as a witness, covering differences in access to green spaces, the barriers to using them, and how they can be made more inclusive, while linking this to the health and wellbeing benefits of green spaces, and their relationship with health inequalities.

The full Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee event recording is available via Parliamentlive.tv.

Prof Catharine Ward Thompson’s essay published in ‘Garden and Metaphor: Essays on the Essence of the Garden’

Catharine Ward Thompson has a short essay published in ‘Garden and Metaphor: Essays on the Essence of the Garden’, a book edited by Ana Kučan and Mateja Kurir and published by Birkhäuser in October 2023. In this book, landscape architects, sociologists, architects, artists, philosophers and historians illuminate different aspects of the garden in the Anthropocene: the garden as a place of community, garden as art, and the garden as a place of enchantment and rapture. The book is in part a tribute to the work of the late Slovenian landscape architect, Professor Dušan Ogrin, whose work over many decades to support education in the profession was untiring, international and inspirational.

Mediaeval flowery mede/pleasaunce: illustration from Roman de la Rose (The Romance of the Rose),
Master of the Prayer Books, Bruges, c. 1490–1500.

Joint Laboratory of Healthy Space established between University of Edinburgh and Beijing Institute of Technology

Following the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the University of Edinburgh and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) over the summer of 2023, the two institutions have decided to set up The Joint Laboratory of Healthy Space in the related fields of urban design, landscape architecture and environmental design.

It is an international and interdisciplinary laboratory, with the aim of “creating healthier living environments for the public”. The OPENspace Research Centre in Edinburgh College of Art and the Social Space and Healthy Environment Laboratory at BIT are the two bodies within each institution who are forming research teams to further the collaboration.

To address global health threats and challenges in relation to living environments, the laboratory will join hands with interdisciplinary global experts to investigate new evidence on the impact of built environments on health and well-being, and promote the construction and renewal of healthy spaces around the globe, with a view to improving the health and well-being of all human beings. At the local level, the laboratory will focus on the national strategy of “Healthy China 2030” and the needs of the construction of a healthy China. It has the following mission:

  • To promote health and well-being for the public in relation to landscape architecture and design
  • To provide the highest-quality research and teaching
  • To challenge the boundaries of knowledge, research and disciplines
  • To enable our graduates and staff to be exceptional individuals equipped to address global challenges

Activities of the laboratory will facilitate academic exchange, student supervision, bi-lateral workshops and research projects in investigations of the many links between health and the built environment.