Special Issue "Inclusive Access to Outdoor Environments and Links between Landscape and Health"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Catharine Ward Thompson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Interests: psychological wellbeing in deprived communities; Landscape Architecture; Landscape and Wellbeing
Dr. Francisca Lima
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Interests: landscape theory; history; perception and aesthetics; and urban decline and green spaces in relation to community engagement and wellbeing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

There has been a burgeoning growth of interest in salutogenic environments (Antonovsky, 1996) in the 21st century, recognising that public health can only be sustained if the environments we create for living, working and spending our daily lives offer active support for good health, and not simply an absence of excessive harms (Prüss-Üstün et al., 2016)). There is considerable research evidence on the health benefits of access to green and blue space—vegetated landscapes, whether highly managed or more wild and natural, and landscapes associated with water, such as riversides, lakes and coastal areas. There is also evidence on the benefits of access to more urban public spaces, including streets, market places and squares that allow for easy pedestrian use, especially in relation to social connectedness and the reduced isolation of individuals. The evidence suggests that there may be multiple pathways to health benefits, such as physical activity, social contact, stress relief, or avoidance of aerial pollution, often working together in synergy, but it is not always clear how these pathways differ among varying groups and sub-groups in society, nor which matters most in terms of health equity (WHO, 2016). It is also the case that the research published to date on salutogenic links between landscape and health is predominantly from the Global North; there is a need for better evidence on the role of inclusive access to outdoor environments and links between landscape and health for many different parts of the world. 

Finally, it will be evident to all in a post-Covid world that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted a range of issues where environment and health are crucially interlinked, where the dangers of living in too crowded and enclosed conditions have been cruelly exposed, and where inequities in health have been magnified by poverty of opportunity to experience salutogenic environments. This Special Issue therefore focuses on themes relevant to these issues, which could not be more relevant to a sustainable future: 

  • Lessons learnt from the Covid-19 experience—whose health has benefitted from access to local landscapes, whose health has not benefitted in this way, and what needs to change for the future in light of this
  • What are the challenges for inclusive access to landscapes for health among economically deprived groups and people from black and minority ethnic groups and how can they best be addressed?
  • Evidence of successful interventions to increase the equity of access to outdoor environments and, thereby, to reduce health inequalities
  • Links between access to public outdoor space, including green/blue space, and health in the Global South
  • The role of access to public landscapes such a parks (as opposed to private gardens, whether individual or communal) in relation to health outcomes
  • Sustainable solutions to funding and managing accessible landscapes to support public health in times of economic recession.
  • Effective and sustainable approaches to working with disengaged communities and groups to enable them to benefit from their local landscapes for health 

References

Antonovsky A. The salutogenic model as a theory to guide health promotion. Health Promot Int. 1996;11(1):11-18.

Prüss-Üstün, A.; Wolf, J.; Corvalán, C.; Bos, R.; Neira, M. Preventing Disease through Healthy Environments: A Global Assessment of the Burden of Disease from Environmental Risks, 2nd ed.; World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. 

WHO. Urban Green Spaces and Health—A Review of Evidence; Copenhagen WHO Regional Office for Europe: København, Denmark, 2016.

Prof. Dr. Catharine Ward Thompson
Dr. Francisca Lima
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Health, the Outdoors and Safety
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084274 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 731
Abstract
While the public health benefits accruing from exposure to the outdoors, and especially the natural environment, have gained greater recognition, this has exposed rifts in thinking between those focusing on the pathology of injury and those pursuing a wider health agenda which recognizes [...] Read more.
While the public health benefits accruing from exposure to the outdoors, and especially the natural environment, have gained greater recognition, this has exposed rifts in thinking between those focusing on the pathology of injury and those pursuing a wider health agenda which recognizes the restorative potential of encounters with nature. In retrospect, the classification of injury as a public health issue in the mid-20th century triggered complex societal responses which generated unintended consequences affecting healthful activities. Responses generally aim to reduce or minimize the risk of injury and come in different forms, including formal and informal codes of practice, standards, management systems and regulation. Well-intentioned as these interventions may have been, the new emphasis on harm shifted attention away from what causes health and resulted in increasing control over activities, including those taking place outdoors. This article, which draws on long-term qualitative policy research, describes examples of these on-going tensions in the context of the public enjoyment of the outdoors. In conclusion, the situation presented is considered from a number of theoretical perspectives, and proposals are made for resolving the issues. These include improved communication between sectors and, on the technical side, the introduction of a compensatory decision process which enables policy makers to take account of both the health benefits and risks of exposure to the natural environment. Full article
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