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of People-Enviromental Studies

From ART theory to Arts: the restorative potential of art museum visits Stefano Mastandrea The restorative potential of aquarium biodiversity Deborah Cracknell

AUTUMN 2012 - #39




International Association for People-Environment Studies aims to improve the physical environment and human well-being.

Submissions Whilst we encourage all our members to submit material, any submission for inclusion in the Bulletin should be written to high standards of English grammar and punctuation. To help the review process, we kindly ask you have the material checked by a fluent English speaker before submitting it to the Bulletin. Please, send your contributions for the next issue by e-mail to Giuseppe Carrus, at the following address: bulletin.iaps@gmail.com All manuscripts should be written in Times New Roman 12 pt., double-spaced. The maximum word length for articles is 2000 words. Include names, affiliation and full contact details of all the authors.

Instructions on how to become an IAPS member, or to renew your membership, are available on the IAPS webiste: iaps-association.org

Bulletin of PeopleEnviromental Studies. Winter 2013 Number 39 ISSN: 1301 - 3998

www.iaps-association.org Editor Giuseppe Carrus Editorial Team Aleya Abdel-Hadi Ricardo García-Mira Corina Ilin Ombretta Romice Kevin Thwaites Clare Twigger-Ross

Editorial Committee Angela Castrechini Arza Churchman José A. Corraliza Tony Craig Sandrine Depeau Edward Edgerton Ferdinando Fornara Birgitta Gattersleben Bernardo Hernández Maria Johanson Florian Kaiser Peter Kellett Marketta Kitta Roderick Lawrence Jeanne Moore Enric Pol Massimiliano Scopelliti Hulya Turgut David Uzzell

Photo Credits All photographs included in this list are under a Creative Commons license: Attribution-noncommercial 3.0 Unported. Page 2: Spacewalking astronaut John Grunsfeld by NASA Goddard photo and video*. Page 5: Tree Buddha by Doug88888*. Page 10: second column: Tree Buddha by Doug88888*. Page 10: thirth column: Balance by ross Hong Kong*. Page 11: New York skyline by Aftab*. Page 12: Space by Sweetie187*.

Page 14: OH guided tour 1 by Open House Brussels*. Page 16: Vue from the terrace, Peggy Guggenheim Collection by Imd.paint*. Page 19: Mount Dudawang - Distant scenery with pigeon house mountain by Poytr*. Page 20: Fish tank by Amedina*. Page 41: Psiloceras Planorbis (ammonite fossil) by Cobalt123*.

* Flickr user



IAPS Board 2012-2014 Edward Edgerton, President

Corina Ilin

University of the West of Scotland / School of Social Sciences / Psychology Division High St. Paisley, UK

West University of Timisoara, Department of Psychology Timisoara, Romania Sigrun Kabisch

Department of Psychology, University of Corunna A Coruna, Spain.

Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology / Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig, Germany

Tony Craig, Treasurer

Petra Schweizer-Ries

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences/ The James Hutton Institute Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Bochum University of Applied Sciences Bochum/Germany. Forschungsgruppe Umweltpsychologie/ Universität des Saarlandes Saarbrücken, Germany

Ricardo García-Mira, Secretary

Aleya Abdel-Hadi

Prof. Emeritus of Interior Architecture/ Fine Arts, Helwan University Cairo, Egypt

Ian Simkins

Chartered Landscape Architect/ Experiemics LTD Consultancy of Experiential Landscape UK

Claudia Andrade

Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Cis-IUL Lisboa, Portugal

Kevin Thwaites

Department of Landscape/ University of Sheffield Sheffield, UK

Giuseppe Carrus

Department of Education Sciences/ University of Roma Tre Rome, Italy

Clare Twigger-Ross

Collingwood Environmental Planning Limited – Technical Director London, UK

The IAPS Board is now structured into four workgroups, each with a lead responsible member. Management: Responsible: Eddie Edgerton (President). Members: Ricardo Garcia-Mira (Secretary), Tony Craig (Treasurer) and Aleya Abdel-Hadi (Membership/Listserve). Tasks: finances, membership, profile, constitution, elections, meetings, conference voting, general liaison, and the public face of IAPS. Published Outputs: Responsible: Giuseppe Carrus (Bulletin). Members: Clare Twigger-Ross (Newsletter), Claudia Andrade (Newsletter) and Ian Simkins (Website). Tasks: bulletin, website, newsletter, bibliography, publicity. Conference related activities: Responsible: Sigrun Kabisch. Members: Clare Twigger-Ross (YRW), Corina Ilin, Petra Schweizer-Ries (YRW) and Claudia Andrade (YRW). Tasks: Young Researchers Workshop, Hall of Fame, conference support. Networks Responsibles: Kevin Thwaites and Ian Simkins. Tasks: Iaps networks coordination.



Bulletin Summary TOC

P. 6-7

1. Presidential address (E. Edgerton) 2. Editorial address (G. Carrus)

6 74


P. 8-17

1. Time perspective in p-e studies (J. Pinheiro) 2. Museums as restorative environment (S. Mastandrea) YRW AWARDS 2012

8 14 4


P. 26-29

1. YRW award 2012 winner (D. Cracknell) 2. YRW award runner up (E. Pinard) 3. YRW award runner up (S. Khan) 4. YRW award runner up (E. J. Unwin)

1. China (Ombretta Romice) 2. Steep (G. Schuitema) NEWS FROM THE NETWORKS

P. 18-25 18 22 23 25

26 28 P. 30-31

Place attchment network (P. D-Wright & M. Lewicka) CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS

30 P. 32-35

1. Corunna 2013 2. Timisoara 2014

32 34


P. 36-37


P. 38-39 IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013


Presidential address,

by Eddie Edgerton It was a great honour and privilege to be nominated by the Board as the new President of IAPS and I hope I can repay their confidence and support. It does not seem that long ago that I attended my first IAPS conference (Paris 2000) and I remember vividly when David Uzzell asked me at the EPUK conference in 2005 if I would consider standing for the forthcoming Board elections. I think it speaks volumes for IAPS that members have the opportunity to become so actively involved in the management and decision making of the organisation in a relatively short period of time. My decision to accept the role of IAPS President was influenced by a number of factors, one of which was my knowledge of the abilities, enthusiasm and dedication of the Board members that I have wor ked with over the last 6-7 years. I am sure that the work of the Board can only be enhanced further with the involvement of our new members that we welcomed on to Board in 2012: Ricardo Garcia Mira, Tony Craig and Claudia Andrade. The addition of these three new Board members along with the expertise of the nine existing Board members will allow for continuity as well as the ability to take forward key activities and initiatives. The new Board has agreed to work under the following groupings: Management (Ricardo, Tony, Aleya and myself), Published Outputs (Giuseppe, Clare, Claudia and Ian), Networks (Kevin and Ian), and Congress Related Activities (Corina, Sigrun, Petra and Claudia). One further factor that influenced my decision to accept the role of IAPS President was the experience that I have gained from the pastPresidents that I have worked with namely, David Uzzell, Gabriel Moser and Ombretta Romice. Each of these individuals has made a unique and significant contribution to IAPS and it has been honour to have worked and (hopefully) learned from them. Whilst Gabriel was greatly missed at the Glasgow conference this summer it was a great pleasure and a very moving experience to welcome his wife Dirce and his son Gregoire to the memorial lecture that David Uzzell delivered. Due to the length of time that I have spent on

the IAPS Board, my mandate as President will only last until the Timisoara conference in 2014. Having said this, I am confident that during this period, the Board can continue to develop and expand on the many, many initiatives that were achieved under Ombretta’s Presidency; her drive, commitment and passion for IAPS was inspirational and will be a very difficult act to follow. On a personal note, I would also like to say a big thank you to my co-organisers of IAPS22, Kevin and Ombretta. Whilst the organisation of the conference dominated our lives for the last year or so, it was ultimately a rewarding experience and we were delighted to meet up again with so many ‘old’ friends and welcome many new people to IAPS. We hope that you will all join us again in A Coruña (2103) and Timisoara (2014). Now that the dust has settled from the Glasgow conference, I would like to remind our members of some of the plans and developments that the Board is keen to take forward. As agreed at the 2012 AGM, we will shortly be moving to electronic versions of the bulletin; this will be more in keeping with the environmental ethos of IAPS and will allow us to produce a more interactive version of the bulletin and allow us to make savings that can then be directed to other initiatives. From March 2013, we will be moving to the new 2 year membership for all members and this will allow us to have a more efficient membership management process. Having already launched our new website, we are keen to expand and enhance this, particularly in relation to the networks. Finally, we hope to develop links with other relevant organisations such as EDRA and EBRA to the mutual benefit of these organisations and their members. Whilst I can assure you that the Board will strive to continue the good work that has been undertaken in recent years, we also rely on the enthusiasm and commitment of all IAPS members, so please continue to be active with your support, comments and suggestions. Best wishes to all!



Editorial address,

Giuseppe Carrus It is not a typo. Rather, it could be more a test. If you have already understood why this address is titled editori@l address 2.0, raise your hand… Now, let’s turn back serious for a while: The answer to the test is simple, indeed. This is the first issue of the Bulletin of People-environment Studies that will be not printed on paper. As many readers might remember, this decision was taken, almost unanimously, during the last IAPS General Meeting in Glasgow, in June 2012. There are many reasons behind this choice. A first strong reason, being an association dedicated to people-environment relations, is that we can concretely contribute in reducing our environmental footprint, by avoiding consuming paper and ink, when it is not strictly necessary. A second reason is linked to the enhanced opportunities that a digital issue can offer us. Maybe we will need some more time to be able to exploit this opportunities at the best, but certainly we will have less constraints in terms of space, graphic, colours and so forth. We can potentially reach a great number of readers through this new media, with just one mouse click. A third, last but not least, reason is the cost of the printing. IAPS can save money by issuing a digital Bulletin, and this money can be dedicated to support the activities of our association, and particularly those related to young researchers, in a more systematic way. In sum, I think that we will all enjoy this first digital issue. I find it exciting, nice and aesthetically pleasant, and I hope all the readers will share this feelings. After this necessary premise, I will now dedicate a few words to the format and contents of this issue n. 39 of the Bulletin, following the traditional fashion of any editorial address. We have tried to get again a good balance between contributions and reflections from

experienced scholars in the field of peopleenvironment studies, and young researchers. In particular, we offered a space to the winner of the Young Researcher Award during the last Glasgow conference. Given the high standard of the contributions, we decided to give space also the runner up papers, who entered in the final selection process. Following the same spirit of supporting and promoting young researchers, we were particularly happy to host in this issue a report from the last summer school on theories in environmental and economic psychology (STEEP), that took place in Aarhus, Denmark, July 2012. We have important information about the two main forthcoming IAPS events for 2013 and 2014. The Corunna 2013 IAPS Symposium, jointly organized by the Networks on “Culture and Space in The Built Environment”, “Housing”, and “Sustainability”, and the Timisoara 2014 23rd IAPS Conference: see you all in Spain and Romania! Welcome, also, to a new-born: the IAPS Network on place attachment, coordinated by Maria Lewicka and Patrick Devine-Wright. Let me conclude this address with a warm welcome and with big thanks. Welcome to the new IAPS President, Edward Edgerton, and to the new board members who joined in the crew this summer, Claudia Andrade and Tony Craig. This is the first Bulletin issue coming out under Eddie’s presidential mandate, and I am sure he will carry on the great job made so far by all the previous IAPS presidents! Thanks, once more, to Ombretta Romice, for the wonderful job she made during the last four years. Ombretta’s report on the conference tour she recently made in China is a nice example on how much a past-president can contribute to promote IAPS after the mandate, while enjoying life at the same time! That’s all, for now: enjoy the issue!



Theoretical reflections and research experiences.

1. TIME, A SLIPPERY CHALLENGE. José Q. Pinheiro Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil pinheiro@cchla.ufrn.br

The size of a park is directly related to the manner in which you use it. If you are in a canoe travelling at three miles an hour, the lake on which you are paddling is ten times as long and ten times as broad as it is to the man in the speed boat going thirty. ... Every road that replaces a footpath, every outboard motor that replaces a canoe paddle, shrinks the area of the park. (P. Brooks, in Sommer, 1972, p. 66). We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers; we are borrowing it from our children. (Anonymous, in Brown, 1981). TIME IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERIENCE.

The last decades of 20th Century saw the flourishing of the study of people-environment relationships. Several pioneering

authors brought an ecological point of view into social sciences approaches to the subject. Initially foreign to such disciplinary domains, the ecological perspective came to be endorsed and proved its pertinence. Endorsed, but not so easily adopted, perhaps because such ecological understanding of social phenomena brought associated difficulties; among others, the inclusion of temporal issues into disciplines such as Architecture, Geography and Environmental Psychology, very much spatially oriented, as the general Western culture. Reviewing the presence of an ecological perspective in environmental psychology, Winkel, Saegert and Evans (2009) identified as one of the six principles of such analysis “the unfolding and articulation of person-environment dynamics over time” (p. 319). Ecological approaches to people-environment relationships consider time as part of the physical world, for instance, in the manifestations of sequence, rhythm and duration of a given experience (Sommer, 1972, p. 71). They also simultaneously consider time as a subjective element, in the attribution of meaning to that experience. Changes in the sequence or duration of events, for example, may cause the change of meaning of those events (as in the first epigraph above), and “change and recurrence are the sense of being alive” (Lynch, 1972, p. 1). “People are forever changing. You cannot kiss the same person twice for the first time. Environments change as well. You can leave home for the last time only once” (LaFrance & Mayo, 1978, p. 9).



We perceive a time scale in our relations with the environment and we act accordingly to it. Enlarging the focus of analysis beyond the person and towards the context implies the consideration not only of a larger scale in terms of socio-spatial elements of the environment, but also of a broader and extended temporal scope (Stokols, Misra, Runnerstrom, & Hipp, 2009). As Gibson (1979) puts it, we react to changes and continuities within a time frame in general situated between seconds and years; we are capable of observing the change of position of a chair in a room, but not the slow erosion of a mountain or the slight differences between two frames of a movie. Another good illustration of the presence of time in ecologically oriented approaches to people-environment relationships is Barker’s (1968) concept of behaviour setting, for it includes both spatial and temporal dimensions (see also Wicker, 1979; 1987). Because we are much more culturally oriented towards space than time, it is common to think of a football field as a behaviour setting, while the true behaviour setting is the football match, not the field; the unity people-environment, not the portion of physical space. Other “classics” of the area deserve to be mentioned, as instances of the recognition and analysis of the presence of time in our relationship with environments. Tuan’s (1977) definition of the experiential (temporal) difference between space and place constitutes a good example. Another is Hall’s (1983) notion of chronemics, a typology of culturally established manners of handling time according to which people may belong (and act accordingly) to monochronic or polichronic cultures. The latest versions of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model incorporate temporal features into his traditional systems (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). An additional example could be the classification of temporalities proposed by Werner, Altman and Oxley (1985), according to which, time is conceived as linear (continuum pastpresent-future), cyclic (daily periods, seasons of the year), or spiral cyclic (a combination of the first two).

Environmental perception has been described as the immersion of the perceiver into space and time of the perceived environment.

Environmental perception has been described as the immersion of the perceiver into space and time of the perceived environment. The idea that “the environment surrounds, enfolds, engulfs, and no thing and no one can be isolated and identified as standing outside of, and apart from, it” (Ittelson, 1973, p. 13) does make sense when the environmental scale is such that the person can traverse it, as in the case of buildings, neighbourhoods or cities. In fact, the full apprehension of a personenvironment relationship requires the three “Ws”: whatness, whereness and wheness (Lee, 2003). Larger scales, however, as the globe and associated themes such as global environmental changes, pose serious questions for the appropriation of its wheness. “Think globally, act locally” is a slogan not only about space: maybe the most difficult issue relates to its temporal dimensions. IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

The timing of primary environmental cognition experiences (first hand contact; Presson & Hazelrigg, 1984) has been superficially explored in the literature. Additionally, the temporal circumstances of the secondary type are practically unexplored, leaving us uninformed about continuities and disruptions among levels. Such lack of information constitutes a big problem when we consider that our world is more and more made up of “representations” of environments, capable of providing no more than “secondhand” experiences, at the most. Methodological issues represent an important aspect of the difficulties for the study of time in the environmental experience. Such an option may seem difficult to implement if the research training did not prepare the person for it. However, the decision may be based on simple principles that would demand not only static elements of the environments, but also dynamic processes (Werner, Altman, & Oxley, 1985), which may eventually lead to the need of combining mixed strategies: quantitative and qualitative, approaching both products and processes. To attend to the complex research scenarios typical of the area, one may want to combine strategies that focus on spatial features with strategies that highlight time (Günther, Elali, & Pinheiro, 2008). An additional benefit of this effort would be the greater ease of interdisciplinary exchange, once both spatial and temporal vocabularies about the phenomenon are dominated. Editorial limitations restrain mentioning other authors who have written about time in peopleenvironment relationships (e.g., Gifford et al., 2009; Michelson, 2005; Moore, 1987; Proshansky, 1976; Stokols, 1988; among others). With such wealth of information on the theme, what should amaze us is the fact that no systematic treatment about time or temporal matters has appeared in the manuals of the area. Newcomers have to repeat (without appropriate clues) the digging of bibliographic sources in search of the relevant literature, wasting efforts that could be funnelled to the betterment of theoretical and methodological approaches to the subject.


With the incorporation of sustainability values in studies dealing with various forms of ecological commitment and behaviour (e.g., Bonnes & Bonaiuto, 2002; Kazdin, 2009; Pelletier, Lavergne, & Sharp, 2008; Schmuck & Schultz, 2002; Schmuck & Vlek, 2003; Vlek & Steg, 2007), additional parameters were brought into analysis. The very definition of a sustainable lifestyle presupposes more than just caring for the environment (Corral-Verdugo & Pinheiro, 2004), and requires a revision of the values upon which our civilization is established (Clark, 1995; Kurz, 2002; Milbrath, 1995). A lifestyle based on the ideal of sustainability is not possible without a broader concept of social justice based on an equitable economic structure and respect for the environment – intragenerational solidarity –, and a consolidation of the quality of life at a rhythm that respects the limitations of natural resources – intergenerational solidarity (Pol, 2002, p. 13). This solidarity between generations implies the need to take into account the temporal dimension stretching along such a gap, so far a formidable challenge for researchers of the topic. To sustain implies time per se, for it means to get something and to continue maintaining it. The advent of the notion of sustainability has changed the study of psychological predispositions to conserve the environment. Researchers are challenged to develop theoretical constructs and methodological strategies related to intergenerational solidarity, taking into account this “temporal bridge” in people’s minds (Pinheiro, 2006; Pinheiro & CorralVerdugo, 2010). The concepts of attachment and identity in people-environment studies are related to place, not to space. The definition of place by Tuan (1977) and others explains the fact, for it grounds the notion of place in the experience lived by the person in the locale. The time spent establishing cognitive and affective link with that environment may be said to be associated to a subjective time “within the person”, a psychological time. Despite the

legitimate complaint that “temporal qualities are part of the meaning and experience of activities but are often ignored by researchers” (Werner, Brown, & Altman, 2000, p. 205), there have been important efforts towards the conceptualization of people’s experience of time. Time perspective (TP) is one of the concepts used in psychological research and it dates back to the writings of Kurt Lewin (1942, 1951). He defined it in accordance with his notion of life space that postulates the influence of both the past and the future on current behaviour; more precisely, he defined TP as “the totality of the individual’s views of his psychological future and psychological past existing


at a given time” (Lewin, 1951, p. 75). In the words of the organizer of a recent dossier, TP relates to cognitive activities that result in the elaboration of values and motives into temporally structured plans, goals and strategies, allowing for “our understanding of individuals’ way of remembering their past, experiencing the present, and foreseeing the future” (Shirai, 2012, p. 225). Two largely used instruments based on the concept are: Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory or ZTPI (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) and the scale Consideration of Future Consequences, or CFC (Strathman, Gleicher, Bonninger, & Edwards, 1994). The importance of future time perspective to the study of pro-ecological commitment may be summarized in Joireman’s (2005) words: “many of our most pressing environmental problems can be viewed as the result of an insidious arrangement of conflicting short-term individual and long-term collective consequences that has gradually led us down a path that we might soon regret” (pp. 289-290). A new ethics is imposed by the adoption of sustainability assumptions, as reflected on the second epigraph at the beginning of this text: we should treat planet Earth as being borrowed from our descendants. Paradoxically, however, how a member of our current western society – that advocates consumerism, immediatism and individualism – is supposed to achieve such goal? Why she/he should care for a collectivity that includes people not yet even born?



American environmentalism is considered to have got an important starting impulsion with the official declaration, in 1890, of the “closing of the frontier” by US authorities. Open spaces and wide horizons had ended when the conquerors of the West reached Pacific shores. Science and technology had facilitated their job of clearing the land of trees and ridding it of supposedly dangerous wild animals and unwanted people. A scarcity of natural resources? Absurd! Over the next ridge was a cornucopia of wood, water, soil, and game. This next-ridge syndrome, coupled with the rapid pace of westward expansion, made a mockery of sustainability. Environmental problems were solved in early American history not by environmental conservation but by finding new environments. (Nash, 1990, p. 10). Of course, such a scenario is not a privilege of that country, nor can we believe that the “next-ridge syndrome” has vanished from our current societies (haven’t you heard of somebody who has hopes of a colony of earthlings in outer space?). In fact, these Gaia megacommunities have spent great part of the second half of the 20th century digesting the realization that profound changes are in order in our manners with the environment. The principle of inexhaustibility, conquest, and domination of nature at any price must no longer prevail. To complicate things even further, however, the capitalist free enterprise system turned the environment into a marketplace, and nature became a commodity, or resource from which some could profit. It seems reasonable to establish a parallel way of thinking about time, for we may have reached a “temporal frontier”, not only the spatial one. We may be taking a step towards the abyss of instantaneity, even though most of us seem unaware of the urgency in our lives, oblivious of the idolatry of a perpetual present (Parkins, 2004; Southerton, 2003; Tranter, 2010). It seems as if the “unofficial international declaration” of the closing of the temporal frontier is already under way. Whitelegg (1995) considers that getting rid of time pollution is the

most sensible posture to be adopted; he says that wasting time, in the sense of having long term horizons, of using time to enjoy local environments and place experience may be the most important environmental strategy to choose. Geissler (2002) emphasizes that temporal diversity has not been an object of research, and that – differently from biodiversity – chronodiversity is terrae incognitae; there is no embracing history of phenomena such as pause, waiting, repetition or hesitation. The book In praise of slow (Honoré, 2004), challenging the cult of speed, rapidly became a bestseller and was translated to several languages, and it is not alone in defending such an idea (e.g., Orr, 1999; Walljasper, 1997). In a social world whose pace continues to accelerate the future becomes an increasingly difficult terrain (Adam & Groves, 2007). The timing of the individualism promoted in our cultures certainly has little to do with the collective time, of groups, of common goods. One of the central characteristics of the process of dissociation of human beings from nature was precisely the imposition of the clock time in replacement of natural IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

time, which was expressed by the cycle day-night, by the seasons of seeding and harvesting (Mumford, 1934). The omnipresence of time and its representations in human activities is being increasingly recognized both in the psychological literature (e.g., McGrath & Tschan, 2004; Strathman & Joireman, 2005) and in publications of other areas, whose authors are equally concerned with the ecological impact of time (e.g., Held, 2001; Kümmerer, 1996; Whitelegg, 1995). We know, for example, that optimism for the future of local environmental issues is greater than their equivalents at the global level (Gifford et al., 2009), or that the rosecolored lenses, through which personal future is usually viewed, do not apply to the world’s future, particularly when the environment is taken into account (McElwee & Brittain, 2009; Zaleski, 2005). Given the challenges presented to research paradigms and intellectual traditions, it is understandable that the enormous changes required to identify and reach ecologically sustainable lifestyles and associated cultural and temporal practices are still ahead in researchers’ agendas.


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2. From ART theory to Arts: the restorative potential of art museum visits Stefano Mastandrea Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy s.mastandrea@uniroma3.it


People show a basic tendency to associate natural environment with positive evaluations. According to an evolutionary explanation known as the “Biophilia Hypothesis”, human beings, who have evolved in natural environments, have developed an innate tendency to positively respond to nature as a consequence of an adaptation process; natural environment provided food, shelter, and other fundamental needs (Wilson, 1984; Kellert & Wilson, 1993). It would have been evolutionary advantageous to respond positively to environments affording long-term survival. The preference for natural environment is still present even for people who live in an urban environment. In fact, many studies suggest that the exposure to nature has beneficial effects on humans (e.g., Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Berman, Jonides & Kaplan, 2008). It is even sufficient to view representations of natural scenes, in videos or pictures, to elicit physiological responses positively related to well-being and health (Hartig et al., 2003; Ulrich,

Simon & Miles, 2003). All scholars agree that contact with nature promotes several benefits (the recovery of central cognitive functions, the reduction of stress and the induction of positive emotions) that can be labelled as “psychological restoration”. According to Hartig (2004), restoration indicates different set of processes through which the person renews, or recreate, adaptive resources that have been depleted during everyday life tasks. Research in this field made a clearcut distinction between natural and urban environments in terms of suitability for restoration. Many studies, comparing the restorative potential of natural vs. built environments, showed a deeper impact of nature on cognitive processing functioning and well-being, as people prefer in general natural over urban environment to meet restorative purposes (Hartig & Staats, 2006, Kaplan, 1995; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989), and recover better and quicker from stress and mental fatigue in natural than in urban environments. (Hartig et al., 2003; Ulrich et al. 1991). Built environment is however a very broad category; usually it refers to aesthetically unpleasant, urban environments. A city is mainly a built environment with some green spaces of different kinds according to the dimension, the location inside the city, and the amount of built environment surrounding it. Recently, several studies focused the attention on natural elements inside built settings, and their ability to promote restoration. Also, small green areas in the city can supply for the needs of people’s restoration (van den Berg et al. 2007).



While there is general agreement that nature possesses the typical characteristic to have a restorative potential, we might also assume that, within the urban environment, a park in a city, a garden in a house or even a balcony in an apartment can have different degrees of restorative power. I would like to move further along this line of reasoning, affirming that even a totally built and artificial environment can have a restorative potential. An interesting built setting that attracts many people for its peculiarity and specificity are art museums. These settings are entirely built; everything in a museum is artificial and man-made, from the halls to the artworks, from the setup of an exhibition to the paths, from the light to the furniture. No nature at all if not the landscape representations of paintings are there, and even these are still artificial. FROM ART TO ART MUSEUMS.

Are art museums settings capable to promote the recovery of psychological well-being, identified through stress reduction, increase in positive emotions, and renewal of cognitive resources? Can they be considered as restorative settings? These are a few questions I would like to address, and find an initial tentative answer. In the Attention Restoration Theory (ART) by Kaplan and Kaplan (1989), there are four environmental properties which promote restoration: being away, fascination, extent and compatibility. Can art museums with their art collections hosted respond to the general properties of environmental settings according to the ART model? Are these properties also perceivable when a person conducts a visit to an art museum? Being away refers that being in a setting gives a person a psychological distance from daily routines that request directed attention. According to this property, having a walk in a park or in a forest allows in getting the physical and psychological distance from everyday work. With this regard, museums can also be conceived as places that are apart from the stressing and noisy urban routine. The museum building is

We leave the noisy and stressful city life out there; we are suddenly projected into a completely different reality.

included in the built environment of the city, but the museum itself with its architectural features, is often considered a work of art that deserves credit. If we think of very well-known examples of contemporary museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright in New York city, or the museum by Frank O. Gehry in Bilbao (and we could mention many others), these buildings can be seen as sculptures that stand out from the homogeneous background of standardized city blocks. Just looking at a museum might then give you a good feeling for its aesthetically IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

pleasant architectural qualities. When we enter into a museum we cross a threshold that puts us in a totally different environment from what we have left behind; we leave the noisy and stressful city life out there; we are suddenly projected into a completely different reality. Our attention is entirely absorbed by the visit to the artworks collection. Sometimes it is hard to feel even the noises or the presence of the other people in the hall; in some particular situation of contemplation we live a moment of isolation, detachment and withdrawal from the surrounding reality; the time can have a different flow, we live a disconnection, for example, between the flow of life that takes place outside the museum and our contingent life constituted by the exclusive relationship with the artwork. Such an experience gives advantages to the aesthetic involvement. The being away, the psychological distance, in this case is directly linked to the relationship with the aesthetic object. If an object is seen as an aesthetic object and not as an utilitarian one, it requires a different attitude from the one is requested in the everyday perception. Everyday perception is action-oriented, and individuals are directly involved in this relationship with the objects, because objects serve for doing something; aesthetic object does not require action because they are sensorially and symbolically experienced with psychological distance. Fascination refers to the capability of aesthetically pleasant environments to catch one’s attention and interest. A deep aesthetic experience can be reached when we are immersed in nature and observe the majesty of a mountain, for example. More generally, the aesthetic experience can be defined as an overall process regarding the cognitive and the affective answer of an individual to objects belonging to a particular class of artifacts, called “art�. Most discussions regarding the aesthetic experience, according to a psychological perspective, argue that it is the outcome of the coordinated action of different mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, imagination, thought and emotion (Cupchik, 1993, Locher et al., 2007).


The aesthetic experience triggered by the museum visit can give rise to a contemplative form of behaviour that, in case it achieves high levels of intensity, can lead to a real aesthetic emotion, made up by fascination, admiration, wonder etc. Extent refers to the fact that an environment allows continued exploration that is sufficiently broad and coherent in scope. The visit in an art museum allows in fact a continued exploration. According to personal interests the visit can be adapted in any moment; path and circulation can be modified at any moment; the selection of paintings to look at and the time spent in front of each artworks are activated according to personal characteristics and interests. Compatibility has to do with the level of perceived congruence between the characteristics of the setting and one’s specific needs and inclinations. If we are not interested in modern art, we will visit other types of museums that we consider more congruent with our personal interest, values and beliefs. We

found that people with higher scores in sensation seeking (Zuckerman, 1979) prefer to visit contemporary art museums, while low sensation seekers favour visiting ancient art museum (Mastandrea, Bartoli & Bove, 2009). People make their aesthetic choice according also to personal interests and knowledge, and the compatibility with the setting to explore, in this case museums.


Not many studies dealt with the museums experience connected to restoration and stress. An interesting research was recently conducted by Clow and Fredhoi (2006), on the reduction of stress levels during an art gallery visit. The study recruited 42 participants to visit the Guildhall Art Gallery in London on a normal working day during their lunch break. A short questionnaire asking how participant felt was administered, and a saliva sampling measure was taken on arrival at the gallery. This procedure was repeated 35-40 minutes later, after the completion of the visit. Saliva samples IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

were used to determine the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, in order to have a measure of the psychological impact of the visit to the gallery. Results showed a decrease in self-reported stress before and after the visit, respectively 5.1 vs. 2.1. The average levels of cortisol before and after the visit also decreased, respectively from 5.8 vs. 3.9. Both self-report stress and average cortisol concentrations were significantly reduced by the 35 minute gallery visit. In another research, we observed different approaches of visitors towards museums of different art styles (ancient vs. modern contemporary art; Mastandrea et al., 2007). We wanted to investigate whether the different environmental settings of the museum could affect the liking and satisfaction received from the visit of the art collection. We selected two museums: the Borghese Museum in Rome and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. The Borghese Museum hosts a collection of works of art, sculptures and paintings of Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassicism; the Peggy


Guggenheim Collection, located in Venice, hosts the most important Italian collection of modern European and American art from the first half of the 20th century. The participants at the Borghese Museum were administered a questionnaire in the museum’s internal atrium (inside), while those at the Guggenheim in the entrance courtyard (outside). We underline this disparity between the entrances to the two museums because it could lie at the origin of some of the overall differences emphasized. Participants were asked how much they liked the environment of each museum. The physical environment of the Guggenheim was rated significantly higher in terms of liking, compared to that of the Borghese, respectively 7.9 vs. 6.9 on a 10 point Likert scale. Moreover, the open air environment of the Guggenheim was evaluated as more attractive, beautiful and interesting compared to the Borghese one. In addition to natural light, in the Guggenheim courtyard there were also plants, trees, and sculptures, all of which were absent in the interior space of the Borghese. These findings provide confirmation that an open space in which natural elements are present (light, plants, water, etc.) together with objects (works of art, sculptures), receives a higher evaluation of appreciation and enjoyment. Despite these difference on the environment

evaluation, the liking of the visits of the two museums were very similar and not significantly different (8.3 Borghese vs. 8.1 Guggenheim, respectively). It seems therefore that the evaluation of a museum environment does not interfere with the enjoyment of the artworks itself; the visit seems to assume distinctive traits independent of the contextual, architectural and environmental features.


Starting from these considerations, it might worth studying more systematically different museum settings and the degree of restoration they can promote. Museums can be classified according to the different typology of art exhibited; a possible classification can be ancient art, modern and contemporary art, archaeological site or archaeological museum, demoanthropological (history, culture, art, and popular traditions), architecturedesign-fashion, house museum (home of painters, writers, musicians, scientists). Moreover, according to theories on restorative environments, another differentiation among museums can be done classifying museums according to the amount of nature or green present in the museum overall environment. Archaeological sites and demoanthropological museum are probably the ones with the greater amount of

natural elements, while ancient and modern art museums those with the lowest. It would be interesting to explore the relations between the level of green within each museum typology and the relative restorative potential. Considering the visit itself as a restorative experience, it would be interesting to see if a museum of ancient art (realistic or figurative artworks) vs. a museum of modern/contemporary art (avant-garde and abstract paintings, installations and performances) is able to allow recovery from stress and mental fatigue at different levels. Is there a preferential museum art style to better allow restoration? Our aim will be to take into consideration two museums differentiated for the art collections hosted (ancient vs. modern) and with self-report and physiological measures (heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol hormone) taken before and after the visit in both settings, to test possible differences in restorative outcomes, across visitors with different characteristics such as age, personality traits (e.g., sensation seeking or mental openness), level of art expertise. We can put forward the fact that the general properties of environmental settings according to the ART model can be also related to the art museum restorative potential, and that the art museum restorative potential can be distinguished according to the different art styles experienced.

References • Berman, M. G., Jonides, J. & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212.

• Locher, P., Krupinski, E. A., Mello-Thoms, C. & Nodine, C. F. (2007). Visual interest in pictorial art during an aesthetic experience. Spatial Vision, 21(1-2), 55-77.

• Cupchik, G. C. (1993). Component and relational processing in aesthetics, Poetics, 22, 171-183.

• Mastandrea, S., Bartoli, G., & Bove, G. (2009). Preferences for ancient and modern art museums: Visitor experiences and personality characteristics. Psychology of Aesthetic, Creativity, and the Arts, 3(3), 164-173

• Clow, A. & Fredhoi, C. (2006). Normalisation of salivary cortisol levels and selfreport stress by a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery by London City workers. Journal of Holistic Healthcare, 3 (2), 29-32.

• Hartig, T. (2004). Restorative environments. In C. Spielberger (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 273-279). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

• Hartig, T., Evans, G. W., Jamner, L. D., Davis, D. S., & Gärling, T. (2003). Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 109-123. • Hartig,T., & Staats, H. (2006). The need for psychological restoration as a determinant of environmental preferences. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 215-226. • Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: Towards an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182. • Kaplan, S., & Kaplan, R. (1989). The experience of nature: A psychological perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.

• Kellert, S. R., & Wilson, E. O. (1993). The biophilia hypothesis. Washington DC, Island Press.

• Mastandrea, S., Bartoli, G., & Bove, G. (2007). Learning through ancient art and experiencing emotions with contemporary art: Comparing visits in two different museums. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 25, 173-191.

• Ulrich, R. S., Simons, R., Losito, B. D., Fiorito, E., Miles,M. A., & Zelson, M. (1991). Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11, 201-230.

• Ulrich, R. S., Simons, R. F., & Miles, M. A. (2003). Effects of environmental simulations and television on blood donor stress. Journal of Architectural & Planning Research, 20(1), 38-47. • Van den Berg, A.E., Hartig, T., & Staats, H., 2007. Preference for nature in urbanized societies: stress, restoration, and the pursuit of sustainability. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 79-96. • Wilson, E. O. (1984). Biophilia: The Human Bond with Other Species. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

• Zuckerman, M. (1979). Sensation seeking: Beyond the optimal level of arousal. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.



IAPS Young Researchers Awards 2012

1. THE RESTORATIVE POTENTIAL OF AQUARIUM BIODIVERSITY. Deborah Cracknell University of Plymouth deborah.cracknell@plymouth.ac.uk


Anecdotal and historical evidence (e.g. monastic healing gardens) suggesting that people seek out natural environments for relaxation, and emotional and cognitive recovery, is supported by numerous studies (e.g. Hartig, Evans, Jamner,

David & Garling, 2003; Mayer, Frantz, Bruehlman-Senecal and Dolliver, 2009). There are three main theories that attempt to explain why human beings are drawn to nature and restorative environments: the Biophilia Hypothesis, the Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and the Psychophysiological Stress Recovery Theory. Biophilia is the “innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms� (Wilson,1993, p.3). ART suggests that prolonged or intense periods of directed attention, the type of concentration that requires effort, leads to mental fatigue which can be alleviated by experiencing a restorative setting (Herzog, Maguire and Nebel, 2003; Kaplan, 1995). Finally, the Psychophysiological Stress Recovery Theory proposes that there are immediate and unconscious emotional responses to nature which influence physiological measures, attention and behaviour (Ulrich, Simons, Losito, Fiorito, Miles & Zelson, 1991).



Irrespective of the particular theory, the majority of research carried out on restorative environments focuses on the restorative benefits of natural environments compared to more urban settings (e.g. Kweon, Ulrich, Walker & Tassinary, 2008; van den Berg, Koole & van der Wulp, 2003; Ulrich, 1984): far fewer studies have explored alternative restorative settings. However, people clearly enjoy spending time in other environments and it is important that these are not overlooked. Work by Korpela, Ylen, Tyrvainen and Silvennoinen (2010) suggests that people have everyday ‘favourite places’ in which they have restorative experiences. Packer and Bond (2010) propose that, for some people, museums may be one of the ‘favourite places’ that they visit frequently for restoration. These authors explored the restorative potential of a number of different ‘museum’ environments (i.e. history museum, art gallery, aquarium and botanical garden) and found that, for some visitors, museums were at least as restorative as natural environments. Kaplan, Bardwell and Slakter (1993) also suggest that museums may serve as restorative environments, for those comfortable with museum settings, because they potentially fulfil the four components central to the ART: being away, extent, fascination and compatibility. Whilst these components are often associated with purely natural environments, they may also be experienced in other settings including museums, zoos and aquariums. Indeed, some research has already been carried out on these alternative settings. For instance, Pals, Steg, Siero and van der Zee (2009) developed a Perceived Restorative Characteristics Questionnaire to measure perceived restorative characteristics of two zoo attractions. They found that, on the whole, visitors agreed that the attractions possessed the restorative components of ART. Furthermore, the components ‘being away’ and ‘fascination’ were significant predictors of preference for, and experienced pleasure of, the attractions. It is easy to see why aquariums may afford restorative experiences:

they also fulfil the four criteria of ART. They are an environment physically removed from a person’s everyday life (being away); there are many different exhibits, interactives and educational panels to explore (extent); an array of animals of all shapes, sizes and colours hold one’s attention effortlessly (‘soft’ fascination – see Kaplan 1995) and they are a place a person has chosen to visit (compatibility). Also, for some people, an aquarium is one of their favourite places: many aquarium visitors are repeat visitors who purchase memberships that allow them unlimited access throughout the year. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence already suggests that people find watching fish relaxing. Aquarium visitors often comment how calming they find a particular exhibit and many people choose to keep fish at home - in the United States over 10% of households keep ornamental fish (Strecker, Campbell & Olden, 2011). A survey of 100 home aquarium owners conducted by Kidd and Kidd (1999) found that, overall, 70% of respondents said they found their fish calming, relaxing, and contributed to reducing stress and anxiety levels. A small number of male respondents IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

even mentioned that their doctors had suggested owning a home aquarium to help lower their blood pressure. Indeed, fish tanks are often present in healthcare settings such as dental surgery waiting rooms presumably because of their potentially relaxing and calming properties. It is therefore no surprise that a number of studies have already been carried out on the stress-reducing properties of watching fish. Katcher, Friedman, Beck and Lynch (1983) found significant decreases in blood pressure observed in participants who had the opportunity to watch a tropical fish tank. Katcher, Segal and Beck (1984) found that participants who were instructed to contemplate an aquarium before dental surgery experienced greater relaxation and reduced anxiety than other conditions such as contemplating a poster or sitting quietly in a chair (control). DeSchriver and Riddick (1990) used live fish in a tank and video of an aquarium to explore stress levels of elderly people. They found a trend for pulse rate and muscle tension decrease, and skin temperature increase, in the aquarium observers compared with the control group.


Wells (2005) used video footage of aquarium fish and found that individuals exposed to this video, and videos of other animals, experienced significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate than individuals who viewed the control videos. Whilst this study aims to contribute to the existing body of research on people’s physiological and psychological responses to watching fish, it also intends to extend previous work by exploring the effect that varying biodiversity can have on these responses. Fuller, Irvine, Devine-Wright, Warren & Gaston (2007) demonstrated that psychological benefits increased in more species-rich areas of urban greenspace, although they found there were variations between taxonomic groups. Dallimer et al. (2012) found a positive relationship between wellbeing and perceived biodiversity across all taxonomic groups studied (i.e. plants, birds and butterflies) and suggested that, as people’s ability to correctly identify different animal and plant species varies significantly, perceived biodiversity may be a greater predictor of psychological benefit than actual biodiversity. Therefore, as biodiversity preferences may affect physiological and psychological

responses to different environments or settings, it is important that research continues to explore the relationship between biodiversity and health and well-being. Just as research on plant array preferences may, for example, improve the design of ‘healing gardens’, work on aquarium biodiversity may also have more practical applications. If the intention is to create an aquarium for restorative purposes, such as a healthcare setting, then it may be beneficial to consider the influence of biodiversity and how this may be manipulated in order to maximise the restorative potential. This work may also be of interest to conservation scientists for whom the issue of biodiversity loss is of great concern (Miller, 2005). Any evidence that supports the benefits of greater biodiversity strengthens the case for maintaining the biodiversity of ecosystems devastated by habitat loss and over-exploitation. Biodiversity, as well as being critically important for the ecosystems and species involved, is also crucial for the human species. It is worth remembering that nature has provided substances used to treat human disease for over 3,000 years (Fenical, 1996) so a decrease in biodiversity could be detrimental to human health in more ways than one. IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013


The current study aims to examine how participants react psychologically and physiologically to increasing levels of biodiversity in a large aquarium exhibit. It is hypothesised that there will be an increase in positive effects (e.g. a decrease in heart rate and an improvement in mood) as biodiversity within the aquarium exhibit increases. METHOD

The opportunity to conduct this research arose unexpectedly and is being undertaken in a large, working aquarium. In view of this, conditions are far removed from a laboratory setting. The various stages of this study were determined by fish availability and the restocking schedule. To date three of the four stages (‘No fish’, ‘Low biodiversity’ and ‘Medium biodiversity’) have been conducted. The final stage (‘High biodiversity’) will be conducted when the tank is fully stocked. For each stage participants, either psychology students participating for course credit or recruited from the University’s ‘paid participant pool’, were shown to a booth in front of the exhibit and baseline measures of heart rate and blood pressure were taken. Following a cognitive stressor task (difficult/ unsolvable anagrams), heart rate and


blood pressure were measured again and two mood scales (Feeling Scale and Felt Arousal Scale) were completed. The curtain was then drawn back to reveal the tank in one of the three biodiversity conditions: a) No Fish, n = 29; b) Low, n = 27; or c) Medium, n = 30. Fish in the Low condition included 34 Thick-lipped grey mullet (Chelon labrosus) and 14 dogfish (Scyliorhinus spp.); additional fish in the Medium condition included 19 Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) and 5 Thornback rays (Raja clavata). Participants watched the tank for 10 minutes before the baseline measures were repeated along with a number of evaluation questions. PRELIMINARY RESULTS

Heart rate dropped in all three conditions over 10 minutes but was significantly moderated by tank: (No Fish: -3.07 (SD 4.80); Low: -5.40 (SD 4.10) and Medium: -6.70 (SD 7.17); p = .05). Further analysis showed that the Low biodiversity condition showed a marginally significant (p = .088) drop compared to the No fish condition. However, although the additional fish added for the Medium biodiversity condition pushed this into significance

(p = .014), the two fish conditions were not significantly different from each other. There was no significant main effect of condition for either systolic or diastolic blood pressure (ps > .05). There was a significant effect of time for systolic blood pressure (F(1,73) = 12.80, p = .001, η2 = .146) with participants’ readings significantly higher before viewing the tank (M = 114.11), than 10 minutes after viewing the tank (M = 111.43). Diastolic blood pressure readings were also higher before viewing the tank (M = 69.00) compared to after viewing the tank (M = 68.19) but were not statistically significant. There were no significant interactions. Heart rate data were reflected in self-reported mood, with mood at the end of the 10 minutes most positive (controlling for baseline) in the Medium condition: (2.54, 3.39, 3.79, p = .024). This effect was also revealed in people’s post-study experience evaluations: ‘Enjoyment’ (3.14, 4.58, 5.00, p< .001); ‘Interest’ (4.14, 5.38, 6.00, p< .001); ‘Positive Mood’ (3.34, 4.19, 4.38, p< .05). Follow-up tests suggested, though, that Low and Medium conditions were more positive than No Fish but not significant from each other, with the exception of

the ‘Interest’ evaluation statement which showed a significant difference between the Low and Medium conditions (p = .041).


As far as we are aware, these data are the first to systematically monitor the added benefit of populating an environment with different levels of biodiversity. Results so far suggest that even watching an empty tank may be physiologically and emotionally restorative but that the presence of fish improves these effects further. For all of our dependent variables the Medium biodiversity tank produced the most restorative effects but differences from Low biodiversity were rarely significant. Nevertheless, given the pattern of data, we predict significant improvements during the next phase of restocking when biodiversity will increase yet further. As with previous studies, it is anticipated that this work may have relevance in healthcare settings (e.g. Katcher, Segal & Beck, 1984) or urban planning: it may support the use of real or virtual aquariums as an alternative, non-pharmaceutical based, method of reducing stress and its associated medical problems such as hypertension.

References • Dallimer, M., Irving, K.N., Skinner, A.M.J., Davies, Z.G., Rouquette, J.R., Maltby, L.L., Warren, P.H., Armsworth, P.R., & Gaston, K.J. (2012). Biodiversity and the feel-good factor: Understanding associations between self-reported human well-being and species richness. BioScience, 62, 47-55. • DeSchriver, M.M. & Riddick, C.C. (1990). Effects of watching aquariums on elders’ stress. Anthrozoos, 4, 44-48

• Fenical, W. (1996). Marine biodiversity and the medicine cabinet – The status of new drugs from marine organisms. Oceanography, 9, 23-27. • Fuller, R.A., Irvine, K.N., Devine-Wright, P., Warren, P.H. & Gaston, K.J. (2007). Psychological benefits of green space increase with biodiversity. Biology Letters, 3, 390-394.

• Hartig, T., Evans, G.W., Jamner, L.D., David, D.S. & Garling, T. (2003). Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 109-123. • Herzog, T.R., Maguire, C.P., & Nebel, M.B. (2003). Assessing the restorative components of environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 159-170. • Kaplan, S. (1995). The restorative benefits of nature: toward an integrative framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182.

• Kaplan, S., Bardwell, L.V., & Slakter, D.B. (1993). The museum as a restorative environment. Environment and Behavior, 25, 725-742.

• Katcher, A.H., Friedmann, E., Beck, A.M. & Lynch, J.J. (1983). Looking, talking and blood pressure: The physiological consequences of interaction with the living environments. In A.H. Katcher & A.M. Beck (Eds.), New Perspectives on our lives with companion animals (pp. 351-359). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. • Katcher, A., Segal, H. & Beck, A. (1984). Comparison of contemplation and hypnosis for the reduction of anxiety and discomfort during dental surgery. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 27, 14-21.

• Kidd, A.H. & Kidd, R.M. (1999). Benefits, problems, and characteristics of home aquarium owners. Psychological Reports, 84, 998-1004.

• Korpela, K.M., Ylen, M., Tyrvaninen, L. & Silvennionen, H. (2010). Favourite green, waterside and urban environments, restorative experiences and perceived health in Finland. Health Promotion International, 25, 200-209.

• Kweon, B.-S., Ulrich, R.S., Walker, V.D., & Tassinary, L.G. (2008). Anger and stress: the role of landscape posters in an office setting. Environment and Behavior, 40, 355-381.

• Mayer, F.S., Frantz, C.M., Bruehlman-Senecal, E. & Dolliver, K. (2009). Why is nature beneficial?: The role of connectedness to nature. Environment and Behavior, 41, 607-643. • Miller, J.R. (2005). Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience. TRENDS in Ecology and Evolution, 20, 430-434.

• Packer, J. & Bond, N. (2010). Museums as restorative environments. Curator: The Museum Journal, 53, 421-436. • Pals, R., Steg, L., Siero, F.W. & van der Zee, K.I. (2009). Development of the PRCQ: A measure of perceived restorative characteristics of zoo attractions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29, 441-449.

• Strecker, A.L., Campbell, P.M. & Olden, J.D. (2011). The aquarium trade as an invasion pathway in the Pacific Northwest. Fisheries, 36, 74-85. • Ulrich, R.S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science, 224, 420-421. • Ulrich, R.S., Simons, R.F., Losito, B.D., Fiorito, E., Miles, M.A. & Zelson, M. (1991). Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11, 201-230.

• Van den Berg, A.E., Koole, S.L. & van der Wulp, N.Y. (2003). Environmental preference and restoration: (how) are they related? Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 135-146.

• Wells, D.L. (2005). The effect of videotapes of animals on cardiovascular responses to stress. Stress and Health, 21, 209-213.

• Wilson, E.O. (1993). Biophilia and the conservation ethic. In Kellert, S. & Wilson, E.O. (Eds.). The Biophilia Hypothesis (pp. 31-41). Washington DC: Island Press.




My research project aims to understand how local housing production practices support the transformation of social relations, particularly gender relations, and influence the current urban development of Dakar’s periphery, in Senegal. The research focuses on the case of Pikine, the largest city at the periphery of Dakar. Although it contains older settlements areas, Pikine continues to expand rapidly and informally in the rural areas. Its urbanization is explained, on the one hand, by the mass migration from rural areas and, on the other, by the urban renovation of Dakar, which privileges the rising middle classes and drives the poor to the periphery. Pikine is undergoing rapid transformations that impact both the built environment and social relationships of its inhabitants. The body of literature addressing social dynamics within this urbanization process raises questions about the transformation of women’s participation and responsibilities regarding the built environment, notably as women become increasingly important actors of housing production. The growth of womenheaded households, which represents approximately one fourth of all households in the region, is an important trend, principally explained by the non-cohabitation of wives in polygamous households and new economic opportunities and responsibilities for women (Locoh, 2009). Furthermore, surveys conducted in the area in 2011

revealed a significant number of women who bought or built their own house. If these dynamics are relatively welldocumented from a demographic perspective, the literature offers little information on the rights and responsibilities these women might have regarding the construction or transformation of their houses. What are the spatial and social consequences of the rising participation of women in housing production? How does this participation contribute to the transformation of gender relations in the women’s households as well as in everyday life? The aim of the research project is to considerthe built environment not only as a contextual factor of new social dynamics, but as the support and result of these complex relationships. It seeks to understand the ways in which economic and political processes as well as spatial, architectural and socio-cultural aspects of housing are related and tied to housing practices. The methodological approach comprises two scales of observation: the study of the actors and processes at work in housing production in Pikine and the use of case studies, mobilizing families, on the neighbourhood scale. Interviews with key actors and families were conducted in combination with architectural surveys of houses, in order to uncover the transformations in the practices, norms and relationships involved in the actual construction of a house as well as in its built form. With this approach, I seek to offer a dynamic perspective on the interrelation between complex gender relations and a living environment in construction.

References • Locoh, T. (2009). La ville africaine, un creuset des nouvelles dynamiques familiales? In M. Amadou Sanni, P. Klissou, R. Marcoux & D. Tabutin (Eds.), Villes du Sud. Dynamiques, diversités et enjeux démographiques et sociaux. Paris: Archives contemporaines.




School environments are special due to the nature of users. With a population of 1.2 billion, India boosts a large school going population, supporting the significance of this doctoral enquiry. Research in this arena is non-existent in India. In my study I reviewed the literature on factors governing school education (see figure 1 in the next page). Are environs of Indian urban schools conducive for an appropriate discharge of the immense responsibility of nurturing the young and providing them a well rounded education; mental, physical and psychological? A pilot survey helped in acquainting with ground situation and identifying the underlying issues and concerns. The main research question addressed is the following. There appears a missing link between building byelaws and the educational frameworks, that regulate the architectural built mass and school curriculum essentials but stops short of any positive contribution towards more complex and sensitive architectural issues of appropriate spatial patterns, visual expression, responsive and humane environments, leaving these vital issues to whims of the architect, builder or owner. The research aims were: to investigate if the student user is marginalized in urban Indian school environs by assessment of relevant issues that make for child centricity.; to decipher the status of child centricity in Indian urban schools; to identify possible lacunae in regulatory frameworks and provide relevant directions, if established necessary.

A literature review and a pilot survey, were conducted to identify relevant parameters, which are: 1) Spatial configuration; 2) Context & location; 3) Visual expression and child scale; 4) Spatial cognizability and legibility; 5) Hierarchy and defensible space; 6) Interior ambiance; 7) Physical comfort in interiors and ergonomics; 8) Personal and social Space; 9) Gender issues; 10) Teaching-Learning environment. An assessment of building performance of schools, for the identified parameters, is effected through a POE by students and for deeper understanding of the ground circumstances, a multi-pronged strategy, employed. ‘POE findings typically describe, interpret and explain the performance of a school building’ (Sanoff, 2001). Tools such as direct observation, walk through evaluation, analysis of architectural drawings, photodocumentation, interviews are applied by researchers, while student’s evaluation is done through questionnaire and creative exercise. The study sample included 14 Central Board schools of Nagpur, India. Respondents are IX and X class students (14-16 years). Categorical data yielded by a questionnaire, scored on 4-point likert and 2-point Yes/ No scale. Categorical analysis is based on pooled average of all aspects of each parameter. Qualitative data by creative exercise conjoins to provide perceptual depth to this study. The following conclusions can be drawn: Aspects of school environs that are regulated by byelaws and educational frameworks score well in assessment. Unfortunately child centricity, which is vitally important, is not addressed, making it a neglected arena. This is an independent component, which can be measured by a systematic methodology, which can also be applied to assess other child-oriented typologies. Child centricity has to be addressed in terms of suitable recommendations in each of following areas, to enable them to work in tandem (see figure 2 in the next page).



Figure 1: Relevant factors of the school education system in India.

Figure 2: main results

References • Day, C. (2007). Environment & Children: Passive lessons from the everyday environment. Elsevier/Architectural Press, UK

• Heimsath, C. (1977). Behavioural Architecture: Towards an accountable design process. McGraw Hill Book Company, USA. Preiser, Rabinowitz, White, 1988. Post Occupancy Evaluation, Van Nostrand Reinhold, NY.

• Salama, A. (2009). The Users in mind: Utilizing Henry Sanoffs method in investigating the learning environment. In A. Salama, (Ed.) Open House International, 34 (1), pp. 35-44 • Sanoff, H. (2001). School Buildings Assessment methods, NCEF, USA.



4. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF STREET LIGHTING ON PEDESTRIAN REASSURANCE? Jemima Unwin University of Sheffield, UK jemima.unwin@sheffield.ac.uk


participants are asked to choose which streets they would prefer to use; rank them in order of preference and then select from a list of predefined words reasons that would affect their decision to use the street or not. This method provides participants with the opportunity to discuss attributes other than the lighting, such as spatial features, familiarity and the presence of other people, giving a holistic picture of the pedestrian experience. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Since the invention of electricity, its distribution for the purpose of street lighting has been advocated as being beneficial to the functioning of an industrialised society. Figure 1 is a juxtaposed view of the world from space and is often used to demonstrate the issue of excessive energy consumption in the developed world. Most of the light in this image is light created by electricity and reflected by roads. One of the reasons for installing street lighting is that it may affect pedestrians’ perceptions of safety. It was taken for granted that lighting could deter crime as long ago as 1558 when the City of Paris passed a law stating that all citizens who had houses fronting the streets should burn lights in the windows (Boyce & Gutkowski, 1994). However as this is an assumption, it necessary to ask the fundamental question of whether lighting affects pedestrian reassurance.


An interview strategy was developed with the aim of placing lighting in the overall context of reassurance at night time (Unwin & Fotios, 2011). The interview was constructed to ensure that the participant could not guess the intention of the study by the questions asked. The purpose of the open ended questioning with no visual stimuli (part one) is to ascertain what a participant recalls as being important to them when they walk alone after dark, and then elaborate on the reasons for their feelings. Part two uses the participants own photographs to discuss what matters to them in their decision to use or avoid certain streets. In part three, using photographs of streets predetermined by the researcher,

This research project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant EP/H050817) as part of the Mesopically Enhanced Road Lighting - Improving Night-vision (MERLIN) project, a collaboration with University College London and City University, London.

Figure 1: Juxtaposed view of the world from space showing light reflected from roads. Source: NASA.

References • Boyce, PR., Gutkowski, JM., (1994). The if, why and what of street lighting and street crime: A review. Lighting Research and Technology. 27(2): p. 103-112. • Unwin, J., Fotios, S., (2011). Does lighting contribute to the reassurance of pedestrians at night time in residential roads? Ingineria Iluminatului.



Conference and summer schools reports


Ombretta Romice University of Strathclyde, UK Iaps past-president ombretta.r.romice@strath.ac.uk

Having now returned from Changsha where EBRA 2012 took place, I am happy to report the visit was very interesting, and successful, and an important moment for the reinforcement of the relationships between IAPS, EBRA and MERA. I had been invited to deliver a keynote to EBRA, at the Changsha School of Architecture in October 2011 by Prof Lu Wei whilst I was keynote for the Daegu International joint event supported by the Housing and CSBE Networks of IAPS. EBRA 2012’s theme was: History and Present: environment and behavior studies in the perspective of multidimensional transformation. The conference was attended by a total of 260 delegates, from 51 Universities. Whilst delegates were mainly from China, there were also several representatives from Japan, Australia, Italy, Taiwan, and the UK. A total of 243 papers were submitted, on a number of important topics, and reviewed by a scientific committee including 18 Chinese Universities. Of the total, 108 papers were selected for presentation and publication. The Conference run over 2 days, with field trips. On day

one, representatives of the City of Changsha, The University of Hunan and the Department of Architecture, as well as the Conference main Organizers Profs Lu Wei and He welcomed guests; after that Prof Ohno Zyuzo on behalf of MERA and myself on behalf of IAPS presented our organizations and wished a productive meetings to all delegates. Day one continued with keynote speeches, respectively by Prof Harry Heft from (Denison University); Ombretta Romice form Glasgow, Prof Aldo Castellano from Milan (I), prof Takeshi Suzuki (Secretary General MERA); Prof Guantian Zou (Tongji University), and with thematic meetings, one of which was between the Conference organizers, myself on behalf of IAPS, Prof Heft on behalf of EDRA and the EBRA Board. EBRA is a large Asian organization in the field of environment behavior studies, with over 20 years of work under the belt. The research I have seen presented during the conference was of high standards, and I had during the conference the chance to meet many of the speakers and was impressed by their use of advanced technology in POE for example, and in modeling. China, as an exceptionally fast developing country, with large scale immigration and a consequent unprecedented urbanization is a fascinating place, rich in tradition which are too precious to be lost, and with an extremely competitive, adaptive and innovative economy. EBRA is working very hard to understand these changes to make sure transitions, which are inevitable, are understood, embraced and sensitive to local character. It is an admirable challenge they have ahead, but from the little I have seen the desire to do right is very shared. EBRA as such is very keen to strengthen relationships with IAPS, in any form.



IMMEDIATE MEANS TO DO SO OF COURSE ARE: • Sisterhood partnership, well

promoted and advertised reciprocal events, with discount for attendance both ways. • More importantly, EBRA is now very aware that IAPS’ Networks coordinators would be key points of contact to bring in EBRA Members on related topics. • We should also circulate to EBRA our Newsletters and allow their Board access our Bulletins, to get a better idea on what we do and how we are organized. A few Honorary memberships should also be offered to EBRA’s Board. But most of all, and this would be important for IAPS in general, it is about time that IAPS’ relationship with affiliate organizations is strengthened, made real and practical. The best way to do is I believe by face-to-face contact. I would strongly recommend to IAPS to invest some of its assets to send key representatives (these don’t necessarily be Board members, might be Network Coordinators) to events such as EDRA’s, EBRA’s, MERA’s, PAPER’s future events, and make of this a regular feature for cross fertilization. There are already key representatives of these organizations that do attend rather regularly reciprocal events. We need nevertheless to have a consistent core that can initiate, conduct and capitalize on discussions and themes of reciprocal interest.

There are indeed a lot of recurrent themes being addressed by all of us; if we want to advance in the field of envbehav we need to put heads together across contexts more than we have done. National, continental differences can only add to our experience and


there are clearly some themes which might benefit from being tackled by each individual association AND by ‘super-groups’. Obviously, I am only talking about few members moving around, not a mass migration. This would not be productive and would become a bureaucratic burden. But IAPS, as the other 2/3 associations, has very good proactive members, and perhaps investing through them is a good idea. The rest of my stay was great. The hosts were of extraordinary courtesy and kindness; I spent a lot of time in particular with a colleague in the architecture Department, Jin Luo, and a 4th year student, Li Yaxia. who showed me around the city of Changsha (which for 4 years in a row has been nominated the happiest city in China, despite its 7 mil people, rather chaotic and challenging traffic habits and quite a bit of pollution!), and showed me how really beautiful it is, and how it still holds, albeit nestled at times, the spirit of true China. Food was fantastic, even for those like me used to rather plain diets; I have been explained that it is because of humidity that they consume really strong, spicy food with a real kick, which can be too much even for Chinese visitors coming from other parts of the Country. We have even been treated to a ‘massagi’ which is a traditional Changsha experience – foot massage. All in all, IAPS has more friends, and hopefully partners in the long run.



Geertje Schuitema, John Thøgersen and Alice Grønhøj On behalf the organising STEEP committee

The second Summer school on Theories in Environmental and Economic Psychology (STEEP) took this year place in Aarhus, Denmark. One aim of the summer school was to involve young scholars actively in the field, and teach them relevant theories and skills in applying theories to address societal problems in the area of sustainability and consumption. Students were working on real-life sustainability problems that were presented by five Danish organisations that deal with sustainability-related problems in their organisation. Students worked in workshops on a research proposal to address these problems. The workshops were lead by ten well-known scholars, who also each gave a keynote presentation during the week, to provide students with an overview of what is currently happening at the research front within this field. Another aim was to create opportunities for PhD students to collaborate with senior scholars in their field of research and to meet with other PhD students that work in the same area. A mixed and very international group of

students attended the summer school: 50 PhD students from 18 different countries (including New Zealand, Canada and Mexico) came to Aarhus. We see this as a great achievement in itself, because it shows that sustainability is still a topic that has a world wide interest. Students generally expressed satisfaction with the content of the summer school and the reading material that was provided. Responding to the open questions, a majority of students mentioned that the summer school was well balanced in terms of keynote lecturers, workshops and social events. Some felt that there had perhaps been a too strong focus on quantitative reasearch methods and too little discussion of qualitative methods. Overall, students were satisfied with the content of the workshops and they generally felt that there had been a pleasant working atmosphere. The assessment of the workload in the workshops differed. Some students suggested that the summer school should have lasted 1 or 2 days more. The keynote lectures were positively evaluated as well. In general, students thought the summer school was stimulating, inspiring and useful for their future projects. This is a very positive result, as one of the aims of the summer school was to provide PhD students with the opportunity to collaborate with senior scholars in their research field and to meet with other PhD students who are working in the same area. The vast majority of the students mentioned that meeting other PhD students and lecturers was one of the most positive aspects of the summer school.



Besides the students, lecturers and the participating organisations expressed very positive experiences experiences with the summer school. To illustrate, feedback from one of the organisations was: “Thank you so much for your work on the Midttrafik project! It was very interesting and useful to hear the Phd-students’ research into the public transport subject. (…) I intend to take their work further to my marketing and planning departments, and use the findings in our further work.”. One of the reasons why the summer school was a great succes was as a result of the support of our (financial) sponsors; this enabled enabled us to keep tuition fees low and organise various (social) activities. We are very grateful for the support of all our sponsors. The summer school was organised by the Virtual Community on Sustainability and Consumption, which is a

community of reserachers that joins in collaborations to help reduce the tension between sustainability and consumption. To find more information about the summer school, podcasts of the keynotes, pictures, and the Virtual Community please visit our website. Looking back at the summer school, we had a fantastic week and the summer school was a great success! The enthusiasm and dedication of students and lecturers made this summer school a fantastic experience. As organizers, we are also extremely grateful for the great ground work that was done for the FirstSTEP in Groningen and the invaluable experience and guidance we could draw on from here. We thank all participants, lecturers, issue sponsors, financial sponsors and supporters who contributed to the success of this summer school!




THE IAPS PLACE ATTACHMENT NETWORK Maria Lewicka University of Warsaw, Poland

A new iaps network was launched at the 2012 conference in Glasgow – the place attachment network. The aims of the network include:


• To promote high quality scholarship on the subject of place attachment and place identity, encompassing theory, method and practical application Patrick Devine-Wright University of Exeter, UK devine-wright@exeter.ac.uk

• To provide a forum for building a global community of researchers that spans disciplinary boundaries (psychology, human geography, anthropology, economics, architecture, urban design, land-use planning, leisure studies, sociology etc.)

To promote postgraduate (Masters and PhD) research on place attachment and provide a forum for students to meet, network and collaborate.



The launch of the network was organised by Professor Maria Lewicka (University of Warsaw, Poland) and Professor Patrick Devine-Wright (University of Exeter, UK). It was attended by researchers and practitioners from the US, Europe and Asia and the following specific topics were highlighted by participants:

• Spaces of places vs. spaces of flows in the globalized world • Mobility and people-place relationships • Role of place in pro-environmental behaviors • Role of place in autobiographical and collective memories • Measurement of people-place relationships • Place identity as a social psychological construct • Varieties of place attachment and of people-place relationships • Role of physical dimensions of place in place attachment • Development of place attachment • Embodiment processes and creation of emotional bonds with places • Building a bridge over phenomenological and positivistic approaches to people-place relationships • Non-places: nature and evolution of meaning • Virtual places and place attachment • Forced relocation (natural reasons vs. political) and disruption in PA • Territoriality and place attachment • Impact of place research on policy and planning • Cross-cultural research in people-place relationships.


We aim to get the network going in several ways: by having a presence on the IAPS website alongside the other IAPS networks; having a dedicated website and listserve for the network and by organising a network meeting in 2013, most probably in Warsaw. The activities expected of network members include: • Collaborative research, including submissions of funding proposals to national and international funding agencies • Cross-national comparisons • Joint publications • Conferences, workshops, small groVup meetings • Contribution to the theory of place and people-place relationships • Engagement by academics with policy makers, practitioners and publics.

When the network website is up and running, we hope to dedicate a space on the website for ‘resources’ – that is for relevant publications, reports, methodological tools etc. that would be of interest to network members. Anyone interested to join the network and to find out more about it should contact: Patrick Devine-Wright, University of Exeter, England. e-mail: devine-wright@exeter.ac.uk Maria Lewicka, University of Warsaw, Poland. e-mail: marlew@psych.uw.edu.pl





Ricardo García-Mira Department of Psychology, University of Corunna


The organising committee of the International Symposium on ‘Sustainable Environments in a Changing Global Context: Identifying Opportunities for Innovative Spaces and Practices in Contexts of Crisis’ is pleased to announce that the symposium will be held in A Coruña, from the 25th to the 28th of June, 2013. This international symposium is organized by the IAPS (International Association for PeopleEnvironment Studies) Networks on “Culture and Space in the Built Environment”, “Housing”, and “Sustainability”, with the objective of bringing together participants from various disciplines with the aim of creating a shared and reflexive space of knowledge and debate on issues relevant to people-environment studies, and, more specifically, to creative solutions to acute problems in times and contexts

of crisis. These network events are part of an established tradition of the IAPS community, a tradition that combines presentations of research studies with discussions of theory and applications for the practice of architects, urban designers and planners, psychologists, but also all those interested in the analysis of sustainable and rapidly changing environments from a human perspective. It will be the primary aim of the organizers of this symposium to build on and enhance this tradition. WHY IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES IN CONTEXTS OF CRISIS?

Recent years in our economic, social and ecological global context have raised the necessity for change in the geopolitical, built and social environment. While Europe and North America have gone through a deep economic crisis, which has affected all aspects of life – especially housing and working conditions -, other areas of the world have continued to grow and develop. The changing global context has important implications on the ways human beings organize their settings for everyday life – their residential environments and communal services, in particular - and on the relevance of the objectives related to sustainability in our societies.



The symposium of A Coruña (Spain) will seek to analyze the complex challenges posed by the structural changes in our global context and to explore new policy measures, other ways and instruments to transform existing urban and rural environments according to the ecological, social and economic principles of sustainability, including poverty alleviation and the promotion of equity. It will seek to explore lessons from different parts of the world regarding the transformations in everyday built environments and to develop innovative synergies between solutions and adaptations encountered in multiple cultural contexts. QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED

• How have the unequal changes in different parts of the world affected human life and built environments? • What effects do changes in the economic priorities have on the climate change mitigation objectives in different countries? • What are the growing trends in housing and what opportunities and threats do they pose for achieving sustainability? • How do residential and work environments adapt to new global contexts? • How is our space-related culture influenced by these new trends in our economic and political contexts? • How do relevant social and political agents and scientists face the new challenges for the built environments? • What are some of the new technological and human solutions to the problem of reconciling the logic of economic profit and consumption with the logic of sustainability? • What new policy instruments can be developed to integrate sustainability principles in everyday residential and work environments?

• What are the opportunities for a culture of sustainable architecture and design in both rural and urban locations? • How can social science research support sustainable life styles and supportive environments? STEERING COMMITTEE

Ricardo García-Mira (University of A Coruña, Spain), Chair. Rolf Johanson (Built Environment Analysis, Infrastructure and Planning, KTH, Sweden), IAPS-Housing Network, coordinator. Peter Kellett (University of Newcasttle upon Tyne, UK), IAPS-CSBE Network, coordinator. Roderick Lawrence (University of Geneva, Switzerland), IAPS-Housing Network, coordinator. Petra Schweizer-Ries (University of Applied Science/ Bochum & Saarland University/Saarbrücken, Germany), IAPS-Sustainability Network, coordinator. Hulya Turgut (Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul Bahcesehir University, Turkey), IAPS-CSBE Network, coordinator. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Coordinators Ricardo García Mira Adina Dumitru Members lberto Díaz-Ayude (University of A Coruña, Spain). Eva Mª Espiñeira-Bellón (University of A Coruña, Spain). Ángel Fernández (University of Vigo, Spain). Amelia Fraga-Mosquera (University of A Coruña, Spain). Isabel Lema-Blanco (University of A Coruña, Spain). Marcia Moreno (University of A Coruña, Spain). Jesús Miguel Muñoz-Cantero (University of A Coruña, Spain). Nuria Rebollo-Quintela (University of A Coruña, Spain).




Corina Ilin West University of Timisoara, Department of Psychology

According to IAPS mission, the 23 IAPS Conference will address the study of the interrelations between people and their socio-physical surrounding and the relation of this field to other social sciences. Romania, as well as other Eastern-Europe countries, has been experiencing transitions from totalitarian regimes towards democracy. Today we face the environmental consequences of political and economic decisions made many years ago. We propose the central theme:


Environmental transition, process started after the regime changed, became synonym with Environmental Europeanization. It has as main aim improving

environmental quality, by developing institutional structures and environmental policies according to international norms. This experience is interesting not only for local researchers (Romanian and Eastern-Europe), but also for all IAPS members preoccupied by enhancing behavioral and societal changes which enable the transition towards sustainable paths in Europe. Some difficulties in implementing these international norms on environmental protection include: unequal economic development, different levels of priority in political agendas, and perceived social injustice. Furthermore, the recent developments in Europe have shown that our systems are also undergoing important transitions. The economic crisis in Europe has revealed important vulnerabilities and risks in our systems, sometimes pushing environmental issues off the political agendas, but, if oriented well, can also create a window of opportunity for creating and implementing models of growth and consumption on more sustainable parameters. EastWest relationships and synergies, as well as issues of social justice and cooperative action for sustainability will occupy a key role in this 23th IAPS Conference. On behalf of the Organizing Committee Welcome to Timisoara in 2014! Corina Ilin





Book review by David Uzzell, University of Surrey, UK d.uzzell@surrey.ac.uk CLAYTON, S. D. (ED.). (2012). THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSERVATION PSYCHOLOGY. NEW YORK: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Since the publication of Proshansky, Ittelson and Rivlin’s Environmental Psychology: Man and His Physical Setting in 1970, there have been a number of ‘readers’ which have sought either to capture something approaching the main themes that dominate the environment-behaviour research. The late 80’s saw the publication of Stokols and Altman’s (1987) two-volume Handbook of Environmental Psychology – a massive tome in which the first volume was thematically organised and the second, by country. A second Handbook of Environmental Psychology was published five years later by Bechtel and Churchman, although not as voluminous as the first and took a different stance with a greater emphasis on application and crossdisciplinary linkages. These volumes were exciting because they reflected the emergence of a new field - they were the beginnings of evidence that there were some new kids on the block and they had something to say. And now we have the fourth major ‘handbook’ - The Oxford Handbook IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

of Environmental and Conservation Psychology, expertly and imaginatively edited by Susan Clayton (2012). The kids have grown up and they are walking with an assurance that comes from experience and maturity. But this is not to say that the confidence and energy of youth has given way to the desire for a quiet life, and neither does it mean that some of the core areas of environmental psychology have been cast to one side. Members of APA Division 34 will know that in October 2010 there was a passionate and stimulating debate on the Div 34 Listserv concerning changing the Division’s name from environmental to conservation psychology. While the name change issue was resolved, the discussion continues as to whether environmental psychology should be renamed conservation psychology as so much of the work in environmental psychology is concerned with environmental conservation, sustainable development and behaviour change. As Clayton writes in the introduction “Conservation psychology did not


represent a new area of study. What it intended was to offer was a new label [original emphasis] for previous work that existed , which in turn would establish a new focus to motivate future work and a new identity for psychologists interested in this area, encouraging new opportunities for collaboration between conservation professionals and psychologists” (p4). Clayton goes on to assert that “The goal of the present volume is to present an integration of the established subdiscipline of environmental psychology with the new field of conservation psychology.” (p5) While some argue conservation psychology should be the all-encompassing descriptor of a body of work that includes environmental psychology, others (including me) consider that conservation psychology can sit comfortably within the parent domain of environmental psychology. This is not the place to rehearse the theoretical arguments for or against; that is probably best done in the book, and it will be up to the reader to decide whether Susan Clayton and the other contributors make a sufficiently critical and persuasive case. This alone would be a good reason to read the book. My comments should not be seen as suggesting the book is a kind of erudite ‘battle of the bands’; the handbook after all has the intention of integrating these two areas. This is the subject of the concluding chapter. But before that the case is promoted through four sections of excellent papers. While there is much on conservation and pro-environmental behaviour change, half the book would be recognised as ‘classic’ environmental psychology. Part One is entitled ‘Thinking About Environments’ and addresses issues such as ‘An ecological approach to psychology’ (Heft), ‘Environmental perception’ (Devlin), ‘Environmental attitudes’ (Gifford), ‘Environmental values’ (Steg and de Groot), ‘Emotions and the environment’ (Kals and Müller), ‘Environment and identity’ (Clayton), ‘Place attachment’ (Korpela). Part Two examines ‘Specific Environments’ including ‘Cities’ (Moser), ‘Residential places and neighbourhoods’ (Bonaiuto and Alves), ‘Work environments

I have been selective in the choice of chapter titles, not because these are the most significant, but they simply illustrate the flavour of each part.


(Veitch), ‘School environments’ (Sanoff and Walden), ‘Correctional environments’ (Wener). In second half of the book, the emphasis shifts more to conservation psychology and the ways in which people are affected by their environments (Part Three) and then how humans have harmful effects on the natural environment (Part Four), with chapters on ‘Therapeutic uses of nature’ (Russell), ‘Restorative environments’ (Staats), ‘Natural environments in residential settings,’ (Wells and Rollings), ‘Environmental epiphanies’ (Vining and Merrick), ‘The development of conservation behaviours in childhood’ (Chawla and Derr), ‘Promoting pro-environment behaviour’ (Schultz and Kaiser), ‘Protecting natural resources’ (CorralVerdugo et al), ‘Learning our way out of unsustainability’ (Wals) and ‘Psychology and climate change’ (Swim et al). I have been selective in the choice of chapter titles, not because these are the most significant, but they simply illustrate the flavour of each part. I would not want it to go unmentioned, however, that there are a number of other chapters representing less common but no less important areas of research for environmental and conservation psychologists: ‘Justice and the allocation of natural resources’, ‘Environmental injustice an, collaborative action and the inclusionary shift’, ‘Extreme and unusual environments’ and ‘Healthy physical activity and eating: Environmental supports for health’. This is a book of big numbers 732 pages, 34 chapters and 55 authors and a price tag of £115/€164/$195. I guess at this price it is destined for library shelves rather than students’ shelves. This is a shame because it provides interesting and imaginative overview of the sub-discipline and deserves to get the widest circulation – let’s hope the publishers bring out a paperback edition. The Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology should be an invaluable teaching resource both for lecturers and students, but also provides an important set of research reviews which are both timely and challenging.




Editors: Hernan Casakin, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Israel and Fátima Bernardo, Technical University of Lisbon and University of Evora, Portugal

DOI: 10.2174/97816080541381120101 eISBN: 978-1-60805-413-8, 2012 www.benthamscience.com/ ebooks/9781608054138/index.htm

The concept of place identity has become a central topic in the last decades in a vast number of fields, where concerns have arisen about the loss of individuality and distinctiveness between different places as an effect of cultural globalization. While place identity constitutes a significant issue for debate, its relation to the personal meanings, symbols, and significance that places have for residents and users still deserves more research. The book advances relevant knowledge on some of the main themes related to place identity nowadays, and most of all on a science of identity in the built environment across a multifaceted and multicultural society. On the other hand, the volume also provides stimulating insights regarding the design of places. This is a most demanding activity that requires such a

deep understanding beyond capricious, ephemeral, and fashionable trends. In addition to existing literature in the field, the volume offers a comprehensive view about the role played by place identity with regard to the ties developed between people, and their places. It investigates from a multidisciplinary perspective, the significance that this concept has not only for everyday life, but also for the perception, understanding, use, and design of built environments. The volume is aimed at a wide audience of researchers, educators, and practitioners that includes environmental psychologists and environmental sociologists, but also architects, urban designers, geographers, ecologists, semioticians, folklorists, and philosophers with a concern in the environment. Contributors show how place and identity can be of assistance in bridging gaps and establishing connections among this broad array of disciplines. Chapters are organized into five main sections. The first one focuses on theoretical positions, and debates on place identity. Seamon presents a phenomenological perspective from which to examine place as a multivalent structure sophisticated and complex in its existential constitution. His study draws on the conceptual approach of ‘systematics’ developed by Bennett. Noormohammadi focuses on place identity and its relation to nature. Departing from Bachelard’s and Louis Khan’s theories, she IAPS - BULLETIN 39 | AUTUMN 2013

analyzes the importance of natural human needs and desires in the architectural space. In their study about intergroup relationships, Bernardo and Palma-Oliveira set an emphasis on the importance of place identity in the urban context, and belonging to a place. The works grants a better understanding of the city and its political space as a mosaic of interrelated identities. The second section of the book refers to place identity and the experience of the public space, mainly through revitalization, restorativeness, and transformation aspects. Belanger, Cameron, and de la Mora explore the contrasting mental representations of the environment of residents living in the neighborhood of PointeSaint-Charles (Montreal, Canada), following the revitalization of the Lachine Canal Park and the massive redevelopment projects that took place along the canal’s banks. Long-time and new residents’ representations are investigated through the collection and comparison of sketch maps and interviews about their living environment. In her study about the destruction of historic urban fabrics, the annihilation of place identity, and the reconstruction of cultural memory in Turkey, Akkurt discusses the role of renovation and transformation projects. The work of Vidal, Troffa, Valera, and Fornara addresses the strengths and weaknesses of place identity for analyzing changes in today’s globalized society. Their focus is set on aspects


of urban life such as transportation routes and mobility patterns, alteration of historic areas in cities, and transformation of natural and historic landscapes. The third section is endowed to place identity and the experience of the public space, with a stress on attachment, appropriation, and perception. Hernandez explores the social construction of open spaces in neighbourhoods of Bogota in Colombia, whereas Golicnik and Niksic investigate the perceptual dimensions of public space in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Casakin and Neikrug examine place identity and its relation to place dependence, place quality, and place attachment, as perceived by elders living in neighborhoods with different levels of maintenance. The fourth section addresses issues related to place identity, culture and religion. Mazumdar and Mazumdar

investigate how does religion influence place identity in Hindu immigrants in their new place of residence in USA. Casakin and Abbam Elliot examine place identity in the cultural context of the Mexican community living in Pilsen, Chicago. The importance of cultural metaphors in the preservation and development of identity processes is analyzed. In another study carried out in two suburban communities located in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Lattanzi Shutika examines how Latino immigration affects sense of place and local identity. The fifth and last section of the book is concerned with place identity, architecture, urbanism from the perspective of globalization. The role of architectural identity in a globalized world is analyzed into depth by Adam. Major challenges to be faced by the architectural profession in an emerging global society are discussed.



This chapter is followed by Spencer and Seabra, who focus on the work of Alvaro Siza in Portugal, and explore the potential of global and local contexts in the architectural design process. Finally, in the face of interconnectivity and homogenization of culture, MorelEdniebrown investigates sense of place, authenticity, and urban identity in the city of Perth, Australia. The assorted collection of chapters of this book takes a step forward in order to enhance awareness about the importance of place identity in a globalized society, as well as to explore valuable themes and approaches critical for the understanding and design of environments in which the needs and desires of people in place counts. The volume also aims to contribute to the passionate and controversial debate around the concept of place identity that has emerged across the different disciplines in the last years.

Editor Giuseppe Carrus University of Roma Tre, Department of Educational Sciences, Experimental Psychology Laboratory. CIRPA – Interuniversity Research Centre in Environmental Psychology Via Milazzo 11B – 00185 Rome, Italy Phone: +39 06 57339819 E-mail: giuseppe.carrus@uniroma3.it URL: www.uniroma3.it

International Association for People-Environment Studies aims to improve the physical environment and human well-being.