We would welcome contributions to our sessions on 'making space for nature' at RGS-IBG 2019. Details below.
Making space for nature: spaces of hope, trouble and contest
Part 1: Spaces of hope, spaces of trouble
Part 2: Connected spaces: geographical perspectives on nature, health and wellbeing
Anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation can be mitigated in urban greenspace. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the potential for nature-based solutions to deliver ecosystem services that support health and wellbeing. Examples include the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Reid et al., 2005), the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (Watson et al., 2011), and 25-year environment plan (DEFRA 2018).
Emerging findings from the three-year Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature project (www.iwun.uk) confirm that everyday experiences of trees and birdsong, interactions with other users of parks and woodlands, or places to sit or drink a cup of tea can change urban residents’ quality of life. Such everyday infrastructure is overlooked in policy and devalued in practice.
The first part of this session builds on these findings to investigate the spatial, social and political importance of the everyday, and the challenges mundane experiences present in terms of constructing evidence-based policy in a climate of sustained austerity. This session will be a mix of experiential on-site engagement with urban nature, provocation, and presentation of emerging evidence.
The second part of the session widens the discussion, inviting theoretical and empirical papers that foreground spatial perspectives on the connections between nature, health and wellbeing.
To discuss possible contributions to part 1 of this session, please contact Julian Dobson ([log in to unmask]) and Nicola Dempsey ([log in to unmask]) at the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield; to propose papers for part 2, please send an abstract of up to 250 words to Dr Frances Harris, University of Hertfordshire ([log in to unmask]) by 28 January 2019.
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