Page 1


Landscapes for living How public health and landscape practitioners are changing the face of health and wellbeing


Atlas Design: Espen Voll, Tore Borgersen & Michael Olofsson

Through walking and talking you are able to express how you feel, your hopes and desires. There is also a fundamental feeling of becoming connected to a sense of place, because nature is the same everywhere and is not a prerogative of class, background or race.

Black men walking Maxwell Ayamba Find out more on page 50



05 Welcome

Introducing the Healthy Streets Approach

This issue of the journal marks five years of important developments in the relationship between landscape and public health Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Healthy New Towns Dr Sara McCafferty on breaking down the boundaries between services PROJECTS


A modern Garden City Kevin McGeough on his aspirations for Ebbsfleet

ces t and o stop rest

helter nd s

Sophie Arie digests the latest research on the health value of urban green spaces

a ade Sh

Five years on from the LI’s position paper Public Health and Landscape

Pla sy

pl e


Part 1: The state of play


fe e



People choose to walk, cycle and use pub lic transport


oo tt

Part 2: Making the case Five healthy placemaking toolkits unpacked 4

24 Landscape for healthy living Announcing the shortlist for the Ebbsfleet Landscape Design Ideas Competition


Compassionate city

Carefully designed

How to measure fun

Tranquillity baseline

Alicia Gomez Jimenez on Gensler’s design for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice

Alison King explains how LUC is evaluating the positive impact of play

How a new GIS tool aims to put tranquil places on the map

Come together Meet the next LI President, Adam White



The experience of being on a street affects all the human senses, which means that all the Indicators interrelate. For example if the street is very noisy, then people do not feel relaxed and they may, as a result, choose not to walk or cycle.

Source: Lucy Saunders



There are eight other indicators that point to the essential elements required to support these two main indicators.

The 10 Healthy Streets Indicators



i no

If a street is a healthy and inclusive environment then we should see all members of the community out on the street sitting, standing, walking, cycling and using public transport.

Source: Lucy Saunders


Helen Kingston on combatting loneliness in the Somerset town of Frome

The Approach is based on 10 Indicators of a Healthy Street which focus on the experience of people using streets.

• Pedestrians from all walks of life • People choose to walk, cycle and use public transport cr os s


Where are we now?




Eas yt o

ee to s Things do and


The Healthy Streets Approach puts people and their health at the centre of decisions about how we design, manage and use public spaces. It aims to make our streets healthy, safe and welcoming for everyone.

There are two main indicators:

Pedestrians from all walks of life ir na ea Cl

People feel rel axe d


“My vision to create ‘Healthy Streets’ aims to reduce traffic, pollution and noise, create more attractive, accessible and peoplefriendly streets where everybody can enjoy spending time and being physically active, and ultimately to improve people’s health.”



60 Plant health in the 21st century Results from the LI’s survey on biosecurity

63 Reflective practice

Black men walking

Equal by design

Maxwell Ayamba on being a black man in the British countryside

Dr Bridget Snaith explains Equalities Impact Assessments


There’s something about Maggie’s

Call of the wild

What makes Maggie’s Centres exemplar spaces for cancer care?

Does exercising in wild places make you fitter and happier?

Two MLA students at Greenwich University take stock of year one

66 #ChooseLandscape A new campaign to inspire students to join the profession

68 What’s On Updates on events, CPD, standards and apprenticeships

70 No green pill Sara Jensen Carr on the need for coordinated action

Publisher Darkhorse Design Ltd T (0)20 7323 1931 Interim editor George Bull Editorial advisory panel Eleanor Trenfield CMLI, Landscape Planner, ETLA and chair of the Panel. Dr. David Buck AMLI, Senior Lecturer in Landscape, University of Gloucestershire. Amanda McDermott CMLI, Landscape Architect, 2B Landscape Consultancy Ltd. Peter Sheard CMLI, Landscape Architect. John Stuart-Murray FLI, Landscape Architect. Jo Watkins PPLI, Landscape Architect. Jenifer White CMLI, National Landscape Adviser, Historic England. Rosie Wicheloe, Landscape Ecologist, London Wildlife Trust. Holly Birtles CMLI, Associate Landscape Architect B|D. Jaideep Warya CMLI, Landscape Architect, The Landscape Partnership. Lily Bakratsa, Landscape Architect, Architect, Design Educator. Landscape Institute President Adam White Landscape Institute CEO Daniel Cook Executive Director Marketing and Communications Paul Lincoln To comment on any aspect of Landscape Institute communications please contact: @talklandscape landscapeinstitute landscapeinstituteUK Subscription and membership enquiries: The Landscape Institute is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity working to promote the art and science of landscape practice. The LI’s aim, through the work of its members, is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit. The Landscape Institute provides a professional home for all landscape practitioners including landscape scientists, landscape planners, landscape architects, landscape managers and urban designers. To advertise in Landscape, contact Jamie Dwelly or Sarah Simpson: 020 3603 7930

Cleaner, greener. Landscape is printed on paper sourced from EMAS (Environmental Management and Audit Scheme) certified manufacturers to ensure responsible printing. The views expressed in this journal are those of the contributors and advertisers and not necessarily those of the Landscape Institute, Darkhorse or the Editorial Advisory Panel. While every effort has been made to check the accuracy and validity of the information given in this publication, neither the Institute nor the Publisher accept any responsibility for the subsequent use of this information, for any errors or omissions that it may contain, or for any misunderstandings arising from it.

Landscape is the official journal of the Landscape Institute, ISSN: 1742–2914 © 2018 Landscape Institute. Landscape is published four times a year by Darkhorse Design.


Landscapes for living How public health and landscape practitioners are changing the face of health and wellbeing

Cover image © Park Pavilions by Luke Szokalski and Robert Hilton. See page 26.


Landscape, health and creativity – a winning combination We value our health. We value our creativity. But do we know how to value our landscape and the impact it can have on improving our health and wellbeing? This question is at the heart of this special edition of the Journal. Published to coincide with our Valuing Landscape conference, organised by the LI in partnership with IFLA Europe and the University of Greenwich, we seek to describe the huge impact our profession can make on how we manage, plan and design our landscapes and health services over the next 50 years. It is timely to look at how we ascribe value to assets, such as landscape, traditionally regarded as ‘intangible’. The Valuing Landscape conference will consider how investment in landscape infrastructure can reduce health inequality and improve lives, and showcases some of the most astonishing landscape projects in the UK, We will also be sharing the latest in practice from international experts working across a wide range of cities including Ottawa, Barcelona, Utrecht, Berlin and Vilnius. Five years ago, the LI published Public health and landscape: creating healthy places. In 2013, the evidence base was relatively young and fragmented. Today, we can see how the picture has changed. Research by public and educational organisations – from the NHS to Transport for London – has increased dramatically. Landscape practitioners are developing tools to measure the impact of their designs on people’s health and wellbeing. GPs are ‘nature prescribing’ to treat diseases such as obesity and depression. The role of planning and design

interventions in delivering primary prevention, to reduce the pressure on primary care services, is slowly being recognised by policymakers. Five years after the LI’s engagement in the public health debate, we mark another milestone. The Healthy New Towns initiative is a major investment by NHS England in the provision of housing. The first of the 10 New Towns to receive this investment is Ebbsfleet in Kent and we are proud that the LI was chosen by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to run the design ideas competition for what will be the UK’s newest Garden City. In this edition of the Journal, Dr Sara McCafferty explains the thinking behind the Healthy New Towns initiative and Kevin McGeough, director of Ebbsfleet, introduces the designs from the competition. The cover features the winning student project, ‘Park Pavilions’. The winner of the professional shortlist will be announced at the conference. Elsewhere in this issue, we explore the success of Maggie’s Centres and Gensler’s therapeutic design of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. And Maxwell Ayamba, founder of Black Men Walk for Health, reveals why the British countryside still has a diversity problem – and why it is a public health issue. We also focus on biosecurity and the value of tackling nature deficit disorder and plant blindness. These are issues close to the heart of new LI President Adam White FLI, whose inauguration is featured here. Whatever you value most about landscape, health and creativity, we hope you will join us in celebrating the way in which, taken together, they have a massive impact on how we live.



Where are we now? Five years ago, the Landscape Institute published a position paper, Public Health and Landscape: creating healthy places, to respond to the government’s decision to shift staff and accountability for public health from NHS England to English local authorities, with the national remit being given to Public Health London. It was also a period in which devolution had a significant impact on approaches to public health in devolved nations. We asked four experts what’s happened since and what needs to happen next.

Val Kirby

Val Kirby FLI works in a voluntary capacity, mostly with the Cotswold Canals Trust. She chaired the LI’s Health and Wellbeing Working Group in 2013. Access to green space makes people feel better – this has been known intuitively for a long time. The evidence base substantiating and deepening our understanding of it has grown enormously in recent years, in parallel with a growing crisis in funding good health care for all. In 2013, I chaired the working group that produced the position statement Public Health and Landscape in November of that year. The paper is a call to action that asks landscape, planning and health professionals to embed five principles of a healthy place in all their work. We believed that a short list would be memorable (making the principles easy to promote) and adaptable (capable of use by a range of professionals in many situations). The position statement was well received and led to a series of interesting meetings and conference 6

appearances but, looking back, I think we missed a trick by relying on just one publication. Consider, for example, the TCPA’s ‘Reuniting Health with Planning’ initiative, which ran from

Although life expectancy for both men and women is over 80 years, healthy life expectancy is only 63.

2012–2017, and had several strands and a series of publications, including practical toolkits. In order to influence practice widely, we need to keep up the pressure by reminding people about the challenges and potential solutions. The challenges are demonstrated in recently released ONS figures for the UK, which show that the increase in life expectancy at birth has slowed in recent years. And although life expectancy for both men and women is over 80 years, healthy life expectancy is only 63. The solutions will be achieved, as least in part, through the LI’s new five-year strategic vision. This commits the profession to influence through, for example, promoting the social and health benefits of quality places and green infrastructure, and leading public debates on landscape and health. To do this requires resources – the LI’s Health and Wellbeing Working Group would need to be revived, for example; the position statement could be refreshed and partnerships with bodies such as the TCPA and NHS England’s new Healthy Towns network could be explored. Such partnerships would bring to a wider audience the ways in which landscape professionals, with their skills in planning, design and management, are already playing a pivotal role in creating the healthy places that influence people’s lives.


1. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, London, from Public Health and Landscape (2013)

Sue Evans

© Sarah Blee | J & L Gibbons

Sue Evans MBE FLI is a landscape architect and formerly head of development at the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT). She was part of the LI’s Health and Wellbeing Working Group in 2013. For many years, Architecture & Design Scotland (A&DS) and the Scottish government’s Health and Social Care Directorate have been working with NHS Health Boards to support the development of strategic design briefs to inform the business planning for new hospitals and health facilities. This early focus on design quality has had a profound impact on the resulting developments, significantly raising the quality of experience for patients, visitors and health workers


in the new buildings and their landscape settings. There are other promising signs. To mainstream the use of green space as a health-promoting asset on the NHS estate, the Green Exercise Partnership (made up of Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland) and NHS Health Facilities have delivered a number of successful NHS Greenspace demonstration projects across Scotland. Recently, NHS Edinburgh & Lothian commissioned the development of a strategic greenspace vision for its entire holdings – considering place, access, community gardens and nature-based interventions – which is a first in Scotland. NHS Health Scotland and A&DS have developed, tested and launched the Place Standard tool to support the design and delivery of better places. Launched in 2015, the tool is easy to use and is being widely adopted in Scotland and abroad (see case study, page 17). Growing recognition of the importance of green space to health has also emerged through research and studies. For example, work by the GCV Green Network Partnership

and Scottish Government analysis for CSGNT quantified some of the benefits gained through the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN). These included improved physical and mental wellbeing at £2bn, peatland and forest carbon storage at £2.3bn, and reduced flood damage at £1.2bn. All clearly demonstrate the preventative spend potential of the £2.8bn investment needed to deliver the CSGN by 2050. At the national government level, A Nation with Ambition – The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2017-18 sets out the forward programme. With a focus on addressing inequalities, it includes plans to tackle climate change; major reforms in education and health to focus resources towards the young and the old; greater community participation; and actions to improve the quality of homes and to safeguard the environment. New initiatives to encourage physical activity, boost active travel, improve mental health, tackle air pollution and focus on early years provision could all be delivered through the use of well managed green space and delivery of green infrastructure, as supported by the research and policy. However, in the government’s recently launched suite of new National Outcomes, the new national indicator ‘Access to green and blue spaces’ is not being used to measure progress towards the health outcome. Built environment and public health practitioners alike should perhaps be seeking to highlight the links between environment and good health.

‘Access to green and blue spaces’ is not being used to measure progress towards the health outcome. 7


Marcus Grant

Marcus Grant CMLI is a landscape architect and also a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health. He was deputy director of the World Health Organisation’s Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities in Bristol and is now editorin-chief of ‘Cities & Health’. I have been involved with issues of health in landscape, urban design and city planning for some 20 years. Over the past five years, I have witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of interest in this agenda by those responsible for policy, design and management of urban environments. The potential further development of the field of landscape and health is vast. Remember that the field encompasses not only the health and wellbeing of communities and individuals, but also the relationship of managed and designed places to the health of local and global ecosystem services. This must be tackled as a unified systemic agenda. This places landscape professionals, through our training, remit and competencies, in a position to play a significant role. Many of us are already making progress, however this is fragmented. We need to keep reminding ourselves that popular elements, such as landscapes for healing, green gyms, and designs to support active travel, must not be allowed to be seen as all we have to offer. We need to keep the more difficult issues on the table, such as access to local food growing, solar orientation and use of nature for thermal comfort and – all-important for health – end‑user participation in design and management. Equally, we need to be innovative in ensuring that new opportunities afforded by the


digital agenda, smart city and product design can be harnessed to provide healthier places. Our profession also has a vital part to play in marrying the science of public health with the art of placemaking. But we need to be more adept in relation to scientific evidence. An internet search for evidence is now at our fingertips, but how many of us know how to assess the quality of any scientific evidence we find? We may be able to quote ‘facts’ about landscape and health, but are we equipped with the advocacy skills needed to convince decisionmakers to prioritise healthier placemaking? An issue still waiting to be unpacked is health equity. For the public health profession this is an inseparable element of the health agenda. Putting it bluntly, inequities in health are inequalities in health outcomes that fall on the weakest in our community. They are of society’s own making and patently unfair. For example, if a much-lauded greening of a neighbourhood results in higher property prices, driving out the very communities that the funding targeted, then this is not public health. We are gaining clarity over the role that landscape can play in human and planetary health. We now need to develop the confidence to advocate for healthier placemaking. We need to take our place in public health policymaking at all levels.

This places landscape professionals, through our training, remit and competencies, in a position to play a significant role.

Cities & Health – a new international journal from Routledge edited by Marcus Grant.


2. Creating an active place for all, Connswater Community Greenway.

Andrew Haley

© Eastside Partnership

Andrew Haley is a landscape architect and director of The Paul Hogarth Company in Belfast, one of whose recent projects, the Connswater Community Greenway, is featured in the World Health Organisation’s Urban Green Space Interventions and Health. As landscape professionals we often talk confidently about the value of green infrastructure. We show images that we hope will inspire people about the possibilities and we explain principles, such as the way that well designed off-road walking and cycling routes will encourage more people to make active travel choices. But no matter how persuasive the pictures or the words, they can be trumped, on almost every occasion by hard facts particularly ones which include pound signs. When Connswater Community Greenway in East Belfast was in its early stages, it was propelled by identified needs and the ways in which regeneration of open space alongside the rivers could address some of the issues. These areas were in a poor condition and were considered to be unsafe, with community tensions and paramilitary activity a constant concern. Deprivation indices highlighted significant issues associated with education, environment, safety and particularly stark figures in terms of health inequalities. The masterplan that was developed by the Paul Hogarth Company was iterative, produced over a number of years from 2001. As the World Health Organisation in its Urban Green Space Interventions and Health – A Review of Impacts and Effectiveness has since highlighted,

the project, ‘provides an example of where community engagement was present from the project’s beginning’. The vision that was developed was radical. It was of a transformed place where the regeneration of 40 hectares could create safe, accessible environments that could be enjoyed by all. For some, it was an education project; for others, it was an environmental or tourism project. But from the outset, health was central. The project which was completed just over a year ago, has regenerated land and 5km of rivers, creating 16km of pedestrian or cycle connections, with 23 new or improved bridges, and a major new civic square. In securing the £40m required for the project, including over £23m from the Big Lottery, the case was consistently made that there was a profound need that investment in the Greenway would address. Once the project was committed, the client, Eastside Partnership and Belfast City Council maintained their

focus on health and on evidencing the benefits that had been predicted – Queen’s University Belfast undertook a £1m research programme called ‘Physical Activity and the Rejuvenation of Connswater’. The cost to the public purse, associated with obesity, diabetes and coronary problems are often referenced in the press. Of all the figures within Queen’s University’s research associated with this project, this is perhaps the most compelling: ‘If 2 per cent of the inactive people living along the Connswater Community Greenway become active, then this will cover the costs of the walkways, trails, bridges and lighting, over a 40-year period’.

From the outset, health was central to the project.



BRIEFING By Sophie Arie

Sophie Arie is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor and editor for the British Medical Journal.

The state of play PART 1

The past few years have seen an explosion of research funded by public bodies and charities into the link between landscape and health. The result has been a dawning awareness among policymakers and the public of the value, in health terms, of having well designed and well maintained green spaces in our cities.


he growing discourse around the health impact of green spaces in cities is no accident. The message has gained currency not just because of the mounting and increasingly strong evidence, but because of a perfect storm of challenges that policymakers now face. Austerity continues to bite, pushing the NHS ever deeper into crisis and stripping local authorities of funding for public health. At the same time, a reported epidemic of depression, anxiety and loneliness has pushed mental health onto the public agenda like never before, and tackling it has become a government priority. Pit this against a backdrop of an ageing population, ongoing urbanisation, growing inequality, a housing crisis, alarming urban air-pollution levels, increasingly sedentary populations with shocking levels of childhood obesity, and the need to make cities more healthy places suddenly becomes rather urgent. 10

Public bodies, charities and universities specialising in everything from environment and urban planning to disease, health and behaviour change, are pumping money into research that drills ever deeper into understanding how greenness benefits health – both in terms of prevention and as ‘green care’, where it improves existing conditions. Researchers are now probing the specifics of whether it is the scale or the quality or the type of residential greenness that produces health benefits, or the amount of time spent within sight of, or in contact with, greenness, that makes the most difference. Similarly, studies are looking at exactly what type of space most encourages people to exercise. Meanwhile, there has been a wave of initiatives to spread the knowledge of the impact good place design can have on health and to put it into practice. Everyone from the World Health Organisation and the European Union down to governments and local authorities, are now offering guidance,

toolkits and ‘How to’ crib sheets to facilitate healthy space making. Globally, wealthy governments are investing in more healthy urban design. In China, for example, Beijing’s gardening and greening bureau recently confirmed plans to create five urban forests, 21 small green spaces, 10 leisure parks and 100km of healthy green paths in 2018. In the UK, the NHS is currently driving the development of 10 Healthy New Towns around England, working in collaboration with designers, engineers and built environment professionals to create maximum access to healthcare combined with ‘walkability’ and exposure to greenness and air quality. ‘We’ll kick ourselves in 10 years time if we look back having missed the opportunity to ‘design out’ the obesogenic environment, and ‘design in’ health and wellbeing,’ said Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England at the launch of the Ten Healthy Cities programme in 2016.

We’ll kick ourselves in 10 years’ time if we look back having missed the opportunity to ‘design out’ the obesogenic environment, and ‘design in’ health and wellbeing.

At the same time, NHS Forests is focusing on the benefits for NHS staff of having greenness to walk in, or at the very least look at, while at work. And ‘green prescribing’ – where GPs prescribe outdoor exercise or exposure to nature rather than medication – has become a mainstream concept. In a bid to justify the costs of creating and maintaining green spaces, a plethora of reports have focused on calculating the ‘natural capital’ that green urban spaces represent because they boost public health and therefore boost the economy. Most recently, Fields In Trust, a charity which works to protect urban green space, found that the UK’s parks save the NHS £111m a year. Yet the grim reality is that, since responsibility for public health was transferred from central government to local authorities in England, government funding for public health has fallen, in real terms, by 5 per cent, according to the British Medical Association. Parks services have also been slashed and some cash-strapped local authorities are selling parkland rather than prioritising it. According to the Heritage Lottery Fund, 92 per cent

of park managers reported cuts to their budgets up to 2016 and 95 per cent said they expected further cuts over the next three years. The general public, who have always known the value of their urban green spaces, without needing scientific evidence to prove it, are increasingly being engaged to maintain green spaces instead of local authorities. With financial constraints only expected to continue, those who have long campaigned for green spaces to be protected, are now calling for legislation to ensure that they are. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Wildlife Trust have proposed a Nature and Wellbeing Act for the protection of green spaces as a public health strategy. The Design Council has also suggested that certain minimum standards in healthy placemaking must be made obligatory. The research mentioned in this article is taken from a literature review undertaken by the Landscape Institute and is available from the members’ area of the Landscape Institute website.



Saved for the NHS a year by UK’s Parks



of park managers reported cuts to their budgets up to 2016


said they expected further cuts over the next three years. Sources: Fields In Trust; Heritage Lottery Fund.


‘healthy new towns’ around England


Concrete Diversity Bespoke - Paving - Blocks - Steps - Kerbs - Street Furniture - Accessories Large Format Paving



Tel: 01273 704970


Making the case PART 2

Public bodies are investing in research into what we know about the link between landscape and health, and in creating practical guides to help professionals deliver those health benefits in urban spaces. Here we explore five of those studies. Some are focused on converting people to the cause, others assume that job is done and focus on practical guidance for putting theory into practice, and one identifies the barriers to healthy placemaking and proposes ways to overcome them. Healthy High Streets: 1 good placemaking in an urban setting (Public Health England, January 2018) Since the economic crisis in 2008, some high streets in the UK have thrived, while others have gone rapidly downhill, says the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, headed by Michael Marmot, the doyen of health inequality research. This briefing aims to increase understanding among decisionmakers of why it’s worth creating healthy high streets and to help them to do it. Funded by Public Health England, the government body created in 2011 to protect and improve the population’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities, the report pulls together the latest and best evidence on all the different interventions, large and small, that can make a difference.

There are the obvious things like ‘traffic calming’ (i.e. diverting cars and public transport from the high street) which reduces noise and pollution and increases a sense of safety, and ‘green and blue architecture’ (i.e. adding trees, plants and water features) which can lift mood and provide a focal point that encourages people to meet. If you don’t have the budget for major changes, there are small and specific interventions that can, the report says, ‘make a big difference while retaining the familiarity of a high street’. These include changing the time traffic lights allow for people to cross the road (which reduces stress for elderly people) or choosing to plant coniferous trees because they green the space and reduce pollution year-round. Avoiding cluttering streets with furniture and advertising can make places easier to navigate and that, combined with encouraging shops and restaurants to have clear glass

fronts, offers longer lines of vision and ensures there are ‘eyes on the street’ making it feel much safer. The overarching emphasis is on making high streets more ‘inclusive’ so that they become places for everyone to meet and do things, not just to shop. This means including the local community in decisions about public spaces, mixing up the types of shop, food and activity on offer and making places more attractive, even to the most vulnerable people. If the mental health benefits of creating more sociable places are not obvious, the studies are listed in the briefing to prove it. publications/healthy-highstreets-good-place-making-inan-urban-setting


398 built environment practitioners across the UK converted to the idea of healthy places.

55% identified

insufficient funding as the largest single barrier to creating them.

Healthy placemaking (Design Council, April 2018)


Given there is now plenty of evidence showing that well-designed spaces can help reduce cases of preventable disease and early death, the simple question the Design Council asks in this report is: ‘Why do we keep making places that are bad for our health?’ Is this email survey, 398 built environment practitioners across the UK, including architects, landscape architects, town planners and urban designers, professed themselves converted to the idea of healthy places, but identified many barriers preventing them from creating them. The largest single barrier, according to 55 per cent, was insufficient funding. Private developers look for maximum profit, as one person put it, ‘seeing healthy placemaking as a luxury not a necessity’. There is also a lack of knowledge, collaboration or consensus among all the different organisations, public and private, involved in creating places, the survey showed. Practical obstacles such as lack of access to data on local communities and regulations on things like how wide a road must be also limit what can be achieved. As a result of all these barriers, only 35 per cent said their work often or always decreased the use of private cars, 32 per cent said they rarely or never consulted the community, and only 27 per cent said they used local data to define priorities. Only 39 per cent said they had improved places 14

35% said their work

24% increased access

often or always decreased the use of private cars.

used by deprived communities, 24 per cent increased access to affordable fresh produce, and 11 per cent used placemaking to reduce consumption of unhealthy food and drink. The report, funded by behavioural change agency Social Change UK, hopes to influence people and policy to bring down the barriers identified, so that creating healthy places becomes the norm. Evidence is key, the report concludes. It must be used as a ‘myth-busting’ tool to convert highway authorities and civil engineers to recognise the need to create healthy places. ‘How to’ guides must be distributed to provide practical support and those who do create healthy spaces must be helped to measure their impact. Healthy placemaking must be incorporated into education and training across all the disciplines involved, and local authorities should set minimum standards to which developers must adhere. report/healthy-placemaking-report


adults across the UK to have their health tracked for research purposes.

Why do we keep making places that are bad for our health?

to affordable fresh produce.

Source: Healthy placemaking, Design Council 2018

Residential greenness and prevalence of major depressive disorders (University of Hong Kong; Oxford University, Lancet Planet Health 2018)


This study, funded by Hong Kong University, the UK Biobank and the UK Economic and Social Research Council, claims to be the definitive study that was needed to prove the ‘salutogenic potential’ of green environments. Most previous studies, the authors explain, have either been on a small scale or in homogenous settings (where the population and the terrain do not vary much) and almost all have used very ‘coarse’ ways of measuring how much green space people have around them, based on maps that do not include private gardens and trees along streets. This study is on an unprecedented scale, the researchers explain, because it uses data from the UK Biobank, a charity with government and academic backing that has recruited 500,000 adults across the UK to have their health tracked for research purposes. The study selected 95,000 adults, reflecting the entire cohort in its diversity, living in ten cities across England, Scotland and Wales and combined their data with high-resolution, infra-red aerial images giving a more accurate measurement of urban greenery than previous studies have achieved. After adjusting results for other physical, social and environmental variables, the study consistently

‘How to’ guides must be distributed to provide practical support.

This study is on an unprecedented scale.


used placemaking to reduce consumption of unhealthy food and drink.

Healthy placemaking must be incorporated into education and training.

showed that exposure to residential greenness reduced the odds of major depressive disorder by 4 per cent. The effects were more beneficial for women, people under 60 years old and those living in deprived areas. ‘The results of this study have important implications for public health and urban policies,’ the authors concluded. ‘Of specific interest is the use of green exposures as an upstream-level intervention to manage and minimise the burden of mental health disorders.’ ‘With rapid urbanisation and progressive urban densification, optimisation of individual-level exposures to green can be one of the most enduring public health interventions achieved by urban design and planning.’ The NHS Healthy Urban development unit agreed the research provided the much-needed large-scale evidence to convince people of the value of nature in cities. Study by Chinmoy Sarkar and C Webster, Healthy High Density Cities Lab, HKUrban Lab, University of Hong Kong and J Gallacher, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University.

The guidance, on streetscapes, sustainable drainage systems, cycling design standards, urban motorcycle design, bus stop design and kerbside Transport for London’s (TfL) healthy loading, is described as ‘a working streets toolkit is a vast online resource tool’ that sets standards, outlines the for planners, designers, engineers, criteria, rules and correct procedures contractors and other professionals for everything from major restructuring to use to create high-quality streets to small local adjustments. It is and public spaces. TfL says: ‘We are a comprehensive online toolkit committed to being more ambitious containing hundreds of categorised, The Healthy for streets with a collaborative, colour-coded pages for printing out, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan their health design-led approach.’ clearly setting out best practice on we design, m TfL, which is funded by everything from how to think about government,“My local authorities, vision to fares create ‘Healthy Streets’ aims to make our public spaces to the advantages and and advertising and runs London’s disadvantages of different to reduce traffic, pollution and noise, create types of for everyon public transport as well as managing paving slabs with photos, diagrams, more streets, attractive, and peoplemany of its busiest knownaccessible practical tips, applications forms, friendly where everybody can enjoy as ‘red routes’, explainsstreets the toolkit The Approa sources of further specialist information was developed to ‘encourage those spending time and beingand physically active, contact details for TfL advisors. Healthy Stre designing streets to use a robust While in many ways summingpeople up and ultimately to improve people’s health.” usin design approach to balance movement global thinking on what makes the of people and goods’. best public spaces in cities today,

Introducing the Healthy Streets Approach

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The 10 Healthy Streets Indicators Pedestrians from all walks of life na ea Cl


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The results of this study have important implications for public health and urban policies.

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Healthy Streets 4 Toolkit (Transport for London, 2018)

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The experie the human s Indicators in is very noisy and they ma Source: Healthy Streets Toolkit, TfL 2018 cycle.

The 10 Healthy Streets Indicators

Source: Lucy Saunders

Source: Lucy Saunders


University for the Highlands - Inverness Campus Client: Inverness City Council Designer: Harrison Stevens Landscape Architecture & Urban Design Contractor: Morgan Sindall PLC Products: Special Kerb, Mixed Setts, Feature Benches & Steps

01708 867 237 16

@CEDNaturalStone @CED.Ltd.Natural.Stone @ced_stone_group

Place Standard – How Good is Our Place? the guidance is specific to London. It introduces a new framework for categorising different types of streets across the city and it emphasises four particular priorities for all spaces across London: heritage, cultural identity, inclusivity and safety. People are encouraged to be open-minded and creative, looking for innovative and inexpensive improvements such as so-called ‘trixi mirrors’ (attached to traffic lights to help lorry drivers see cyclists their own wing mirrors miss) and ‘pocket parks’, small spaces that cleverly squeeze seating and some greenery alongside footpaths. The underlying thinking on how to make London’s streets healthy is based on ten evidence-based indicators set out in 2017 as part of the current mayor’s vision for London, which places health at the heart of the strategy for coming decades (see graphic). TfL intends to update the guidance regularly to ensure it always reflects the latest thinking on best practice. healthy-streets

Place standard: how 5 good is our place? (Government of Scotland, NHS Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland, December 2015) In December 2015, the Scottish government launched the Place Standard tool, developed in collaboration with NHS Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland. The tool provides a simple and highlyvisual way for anyone from planners, designers and local authorities to members of the public to assess how good a space is for wellbeing. There are 14 questions about the factors known to make places healthy and users’ marks for each category on a scale from 1–7 are mapped on a single diagram that provides a snapshot of the perceived strengths and weakness of a place, in health and wellness terms (see graphic). The Place Standard is free online or as an app. It has been designed to be used at every stage of a project,

The Place Standard Tool

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 7






1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Place Standard is a way of assessing places. Whether the place is well-established, undergoing change, or is still being planned, the tool whether it’s a new development or approach’ to designing high quality can help you.

improvement of an existing space. It places. The job is not done and doesn’t set aStandard minimum standard dusted, however. While the app The Place tool providesbut a simple framework to structure conversations about place. to It allows you to think about theversion physicalhas elements place young allows people identify what needs helpedoftoaengage (for example its open spaces and transportpeople, links) asthe welldesigners as the social improvement. areaspects aware that (for example whether people feel they have a say in decision making). Research In its first year, the tool was used in the tool has not, so far, reached the shows that the way places function, look and feel can influence our health and projects across Scotland from housing most marginalised groups in each wellbeing. regeneration in Greenock, in the community. And they are the people The toolto provides prompts foracross discussions, decisionmakers allowing you to consider lowlands, strategic planning need toallhear from the elements of a place a methodical way. The tool pinpoints the assets thethe Outer Hebrides. It hasinturned most if they are to design places that of a place, as well as areas where a place could improve. out to be a far more effective way of reduce health inequality. finding out what local people think than the surveys or town hall meetings of the past. In 2017, it won an excellence award from the UK’s Royal Town Planning Institute. ‘Its accessible approach can connect strategic matters of place, that preoccupy those in leadership roles, very directly with intelligence gathering from the grassroots,’ says Stewart Watson, who led the implementation of the Place Standard. ‘It establishes a common language for collaboration.’ The Scottish government describes the tool as being all about ‘empowerment, inclusion and health’ and says that it ‘fits well with the principle of a human rights-based

Its accessible approach can connect strategic matters of place, that preoccupy those in leadership roles, very directly with intelligencegathering from the grassroots.


BRIEFING By Dr Sara McCafferty

Dr Sara McCafferty is a senior strategy manager at NHS England and Healthy New Towns Programme Lead.

The case for Healthy New Towns What are Healthy New Towns and what do they say about current public-sector thinking on planning, landscape and public health? Dr Sara McCafferty explains.


ublic health, town planning and housing share similar origins: the 1848 Public Health Act was the first time government took responsibility for the health of its citizens, when squalor and poor sanitation in urban areas led to the spread of communicable diseases like cholera and tuberculosis. Over time, the disease burden has shifted to non-communicable disease, associated with poor diet and sedentary lifestyles. Today, cars are either essential or more convenient for travelling between home and school or work, and to shops, services and entertainment, contributing to


sedentary lifestyles and air pollution.1 Low-density living and a lack of good community facilities are associated with increased social isolation3 and a lack of appealing green space reduces levels of physical activity and mental wellbeing.3 Childhood obesity is clearly associated with accessibility of fast-food outlets2 and densities of physical activity facilities are associated with lower levels of adult obesity.3 In short, town planning, transport planning and house building have inadvertently contributed to the lifestyle-associated diseases that place an unacceptable burden on both individuals and the NHS.

We think that it is possible to create new towns and neighbourhoods where people can walk and cycle easily, and where everyone lives within reach of good green space, as part of a strong, connected community. The NHS Five Year Forward View sets out the need to radically upgrade the prevention of ill-health and to change the structure of health and care delivery. It identifies new housing developments to serve a growing population as an opportunity to test new ways to provide health and care services, to support healthier lifestyles and to empower communities. In effect, it lays the foundation for a

1 Public Health England (2017). Spatial planning for health: an evidence resource for planning and designing healthier places

Hamano, et al (2017) Association between childhood obesity and neighbourhood accessibility to fast food outlets: A Nationwide 6-Year follow-up study. Obesity Facts 2017;10:559–568


Mason, et al, (2017) Associations between fast food and physical activity environments and adiposity in midlife: cross-sectional, observational evidence from UK Biobank. The Lancet Volume 3, No. 1.


‘whole system’, place-based approach to health. It is recognised in the NHS and beyond that we need to break down the traditional boundaries between services in order to provide high quality, personalised care. This requires partnerships working across health and social care systems and between healthcare providers, the voluntary sector and local authorities and beyond. In areas of population growth and new housing development, there is an opportunity to take a ‘first principles’ approach to designing services, and to accelerate innovation in the delivery of integrated health and care. New neighbourhoods also offer the opportunity to plan estates that provide flexible or mixed-use facilities for health, wellbeing and community services. Community institutions, activities and networks are vital assets in improving health – they help people live independently, tackle social isolation and can support self-care. Engaging and activating communities to make relatively small changes to people’s daily lives has significant potential to delay the onset of many long-term conditions and reduce the national burden of disease.

The Healthy New Towns programme explores how new housing developments can achieve better health outcomes. The programme is funded from April 2016 to March 2019 and has three key aims: 1 To shape new towns, neighbourhoods and communities to promote health and wellbeing, prevent illness and keep people independent. 2 To radically rethink the delivery of health and care services in areas free from legacy constraints, and to support learning about new models of deeply integrated care 3 To spread learning and good practice to future developments and regeneration areas. To develop and implement the programme’s aims, we are working with 10 housing delivery sites – a cross-section of new developments in England. Each demonstrator site has work streams within each of the following domains:

Darlington, County Durham

Fylde, Lancashire

We think that it is possible to create new towns and neighbourhoods where people can walk and cycle easily, and where everyone lives within reach of good green space, as part of a strong, connected community.

Bicester, Oxfordshire

Halton Lea, Runcorn Barton, Oxford Northstowe, Cambridgeshire Cranbrook, Devon

Ebbsfleet, Kent Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire

Barking Riverside

New care models: planning and implementing new health and care funding arrangements, systems, services, contracts, digital technologies and estates. Built environment: using the commissioning, planning, design, programming, management and maintenance of the physical environment, including buildings, streets and other outdoor spaces, to tackle preventable disease and support healthy behaviours and experiences. Community activation: developing community networks and activities to support social connections, partici­ pation and empowerment, behaviour change and healthier lifestyles. We made an open call, inviting sites to apply to join the programme. The sites selected, which include Ebbsfleet (see page 22), present a wide range of different scales of development, existing built and natural geographies, land values and stages of delivery.



Approx. number of new homes


















Whitehill & Bordon


























A whole system approach A development that better promotes health and wellbeing is good for individuals, developers, local authorities and the health and care system. We see the following as important in creating healthier places: –– Having a vision for a development that fits with the strategic aims of all partners as closely as possible. –– Having a direct correlation between the health needs and priorities for an area and the planning and delivery of the development. –– A whole system approach where single standalone actions will not suffice, a set of interventions and approaches are needed to tackle complex health issues.

Evaluating the effects Beyond March 2019, demonstrator sites will continue to implement their local delivery plans, completing the build-out of homes, integrated health care facilities as well as community infrastructure and public spaces.

Residents are already moving into some of our sites, and this will continue as developments progress and more residents move in and form communities. From a national programme perspective, we are currently working with a group of academics to pursue a longitudinal evaluation study so that we can understand the impacts of the programme and the benefits of healthy new towns for residents. We are also developing a series of ‘How to’ technical guides which we will launch at the end of the programme. These guides are designed to support those involved in the creation of new developments to navigate the process and benefit from the learning generated through the Healthy New Towns programme. We know that the characteristics of the environment where we live influence our lifestyles and daily experiences, contributing significantly to our health and wellbeing, and we are keen to support others to develop healthy new places.

Healthy New Towns Network Developers and housing associations have significant scope to shape places, that’s why we’re launching the Healthy New Towns Network. Twelve housing developers and associations are leading the industry, by committing to prioritise health and wellbeing in new developments. The members are: – A2Dominion – Redrow – Thakeham – Urban&Civic

– Peabody – Riverside – Hanover – HAB Housing

– National Pride (UK) Ltd. – British Land – Urban Catalyst

– Clarion

View from the ground Highlights of some of the health interventions already underway in healthy new towns across the UK. Source: NHS England

Halton –– More than 200 local people, including children from local schools, have taken part in community insights and engagement events. They have helped to co-design a unique vision for the future of Halton General Hospital, and integrate this in the soon-to-be-produced masterplan for the regeneration of Halton Lea.

Bicester –– The Healthy Bicester Facebook page, which engages residents with self-care campaigns, has 1,300 followers, with an average of 10 joining every week. –– Bicester has the highest referral rates – and participation in – an exercise referral scheme for patients with diabetes, compared with the rest of Oxfordshire. –– Three health routes have increased walking and social connections, resulting in a 27 per cent increase in footfall.

Barton –– Barton Neighbourhood Centre is being refurbished into a Health and Wellbeing hub. £1m-worth of investment has been secured to triple primary care space from 74m2 to 248.7m2, providing enough capacity for existing and new residents in Barton. –– Health Impact Assessment (HIA) policy is being included within Barton’s Local Plan. It requires developments of more than nine dwellings or 1000m2 to undertake an HIA. –– 112 community leaders have been upskilled in areas such as food poverty, mental health awareness, Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) for alcohol and smoking and dementia awareness. –– In its first year, the Barton Healthy New Town grant programme funded 11 pilot projects, supporting over 1,800 people with their health and wellbeing.

Whitehill & Borden –– Around 200 local people have taken part in six wayfinding workshops, where they performed a street audit and an active mapping exercise of walking the east to west route through Whitehill & Bordon. The results will inform the wayfinding design. –– Seven local organisations are taking part in the Safe Places scheme, which helps to provide refuge spaces for vulnerable people within the community. –– Quantitative surveys have been conducted with 208 families, and six families are involved in deep-dive interviews, to generate a better understanding of perceived barriers to activities. The results have already shaped current initiatives.




–– The six ‘Darlington Healthy New Town Design

200 local people have

taken part in community events


followers of the Healthy Bicester Facebook page


of investment has been secured

Principles’ have informed the development of specific health and wellbeing, green infrastructure and design policies within the emerging Local Plan that is under consultation. The Plan is due to be submitted for examination in late 2018. –– Darlington CCG and partners have developed a new model of care for care homes. This scheme will support the delivery of enhanced support, moving towards proactive care that is centred on the needs of residents, their families and care home staff.

–– Sport England funding has been secured – via bids coordinated by Living Sport – to generate sporting opportunities for residents. The £500,000, three-year Active New Communities programme launched in May 2018. –– An allotment and orchard community working group has convened for the first time following a series of initial consultations with a landscape architect.

Barking –– The HealthUnlocked social network signposts

£500,000 Active New Communities programme launched

NHS and social care services, enabling ‘social prescribing’. Across the wider Barking and Dagenham area, the leading digital social prescriptions are for healthy eating, weight loss and getting active. –– More than 700 plants have been transferred from the Chelsea Flower Show and given to 18 different community organisations and local providers. The ‘REUSE’ project is designed to support wellbeing by encouraging residents’ interest in gardening.


plants transferred from the Chelsea Flower Show

Ebbsfleet –– Three primary schools and one secondary school have joined the Ebbsfleet Healthy Schools Programme, which includes new Edible Ebbsfleet gardens on each site. This equates to giving 1,200 children access to healthy food and nutrition advice, smoking cessation advice and community gardening support. –– A community group have been given a large piece of land by the Dartford Science and Technology School to deliver Edible Ebbsfleet. –– More than 300 local stakeholders have engaged in collaborative design workshops to develop the vision for Ebbsfleet’s health and wellbeing hub.


local people took part in six wayfinding workshops

Cranbrook –– Integrated Urban Modelling is being used to test the viability of street design for the proposed new town centre and facilities, including its proposed health and wellbeing hub. Recommendations from this process are influencing the current masterplan review. –– A risk stratification model for Exeter and Cranbrook has been developed to predict frailty in the population by using statistical data and GP records. Cranbrook healthy new town is linking this to its Integrated Urban Model in order to target resources more accurately.


A bridge of signs. Great Howard Street Bridge, Liverpool.

Client: Liverpool City Council. Landscape Architects: BCA, Liverpool. Designers: Smiling Wolf, Liverpool. Contractor: Graham Construction, Manchester. Hardscape supplied: Artscape masonry sandblasted and painted concrete walling.

For further information on our hard-landscaping products please visit: or telephone: 01204 565 500.


BRIEFING By Kevin McGeough

Kevin McGeough is director, Healthy New Town Programme, Ebbsfleet Garden City.

A modern Garden City Ebbsfleet is the largest of the UK’s 10 Healthy New Town pilot sites. In early 2018, Ebbsfleet director Kevin McGeough partnered with the Landscape Institute and NHS England to run a design competition to inspire the next 20 years of landscape development.

1. Blue Lake at the heart of Ebbsfleet. Created by quarrying, closed to the public and one of the challenges tackled by entrants to the Ebbsfleet Design Competition. See page 25. © EDC

We believe that a 21st–century Garden City is simply about delivering great placemaking. Great places have vibrant and active communities at their heart.

The most frequently asked question we have from visitors to Ebbsfleet is, ‘What is a Garden City, and how will a 21st–century version differ from historic examples?’ In response, we point out that Ebbsfleet, unlike any other Garden City or New Town that has gone before, will grow out of a post-industrial landscape, which is the legacy of former chalk quarries. Our ambition at Ebbsfleet is to deliver a town of 15,000 new homes, balanced through the provision of up to 30,000 new jobs, and served by innovative and future-proofed services, facilities and amenities. We have reinterpreted Ebenezer Howard’s concept of the best of town and country life, bringing together the best aspects of living in London with those of living in Kent, the Garden of England. In our compact urban model of a Garden City, residents will be no more than five minutes’ walk away from a Fastrack transit service, or from one of our seven new city parks. These parks will create a 192 hectare green grid around the city, encouraging our citizens to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. Our vision for Ebbsfleet Garden City has health at its heart. As the largest of the ten Healthy New Town pilot sites chosen by NHS England, we are considering how the design of both the built environment and the health and care services can help encourage healthier behaviours. We are determined to ensure that the


residents of our existing neighbouring communities of Northfleet and Swanscombe (where residents have up to 90 per cent less access to green space than the national average) benefit from the development. As such, one of our key priorities is to open up a network of green corridors and parks as soon as possible. It’s for this reason that we have teamed up with the Landscape Institute and NHS England to develop the ‘Landscape for healthy living’ challenge. We want to work with landscape architects, architects, engineers, artists and creative people to help us open up the landscape. Ideas coming from the challenge have the potential to inspire 20 years of

landscape delivery at Ebbsfleet and, through the Healthy New Town pilots, to influence the approach, design, delivery, and management of a new generation of garden settlements being designated across England. We believe that a 21st–century Garden City is simply about delivering great placemaking. Great places have vibrant and active communities at their heart. We don’t yet know who will live or work in Ebbsfleet Garden City, however, as we are learning through our early community initiatives, such as ‘Edible Ebbsfleet’, engaging with the landscape is one of the best ways to both activate and bring communities together, and, in turn, improve health outcomes. 23



Landscape for healthy living The aim of the Ebbsfleet Garden City Landscape Design Ideas Competition was to generate proposals that were ‘radical but realisable’. The competition attracted 27 professional entries and seven student entries. Teams could choose to focus on the whole town or on particular sites, and were judged on five measures: innovation and creativity; health impact; response to the Ebbsfleet context; quality of, and approach to, design; and collaboration among disciplines. In the student category, three winners have already been announced. In the professional category, five teams have been shortlisted and the winner of the competition will be publicly announced at the Landscape Institute’s annual conference on 6 and 7 September 2018 at the University of Greenwich. Over the following pages, we present the proposals.


1. The New Landscape Guides to Ebbsfleet © Churchman Landscape Architects


Ebbsfleet Garden City Landscape Design Ideas Competition




Park Pavilions TEAM UNIVERSITY: LEEDS BECKETT UNIVERSITY Luke Szokalski, MA Landscape Architecture Robert Hilton, MA Landscape Architecture

Park Pavilions aims to challenge traditional methods of planning urban centres, by locating core public facilities in a way that prioritises user experience over logistics. The concept is an alternative take on the ‘pavilion’, adapting it to create a multipurpose facility that serves the community and complements the characteristics of the Ebbsfleet landscape. For the site, the team identified the chalk cliffs and water bodies of Eastern Quarry as important natural characteristics. These not only promote the dramatic landscape of Ebbsfleet, but offer opportunities to enhance the wellbeing of the users. The study identified four public services that could


benefit from an improved natural place setting: the health centre, community centre, primary school and library. Relocating the health centre to a more natural, tranquil place setting, for example, can have a positive impact on

patients’ mental health and wellbeing, while connecting the primary school to the bordering wetlands can engage children with natural ecosystems from an early age.


Ebbsfleet Backyard Trail TEAM UNIVERSITY: SHEFFIELD UNIVERSITY Zongyuan Li, MA Landscape Architecture Yusha Zhou, MA Landscape Studies

The Backyard Trail is a combined pedestrian and cycling route designed to give Ebbsfleet a ‘healthy circulation’. The route, which starts from Ebbsfleet International station so as to attract people straight off the train, offers visitors and residents a one-day walkable trail. Circulating all five areas of Ebbsfleet, the 15-mile route takes in 22 sight spots, three urban villages and key natural characteristics, such as the chalk cliffs, the waterfront, marsh fields and tunnels. It also connects to the proposed Ebbsfleet Garden City development, with secondary pathways connecting bus stops and exits to the town, and opportunities to rent public bikes en route.

There is even an option for those who simply want to enjoy the dramatic landscape: take the train. In this proposal, the disused railway track

is converted for entertainment, allowing visitors to ride through the historic tunnel and admire the chalk cliffs.

for all ages, from rock climbing to camping. There is also an art and cultural park. In addition, the Self healing city aims to re-activate the potentialities of the ecosystem. In order to sustain

the local environment, remediation and environmental design is planned incuding SUDs, tidal resilient design, food waste system and phytoremediation.


Self-Healing City TEAM UNIVERSITY: GLOUCESTERSHIRE UNIVERSITY Catrina Wai Chu Chan, MA Landscape Architecture Melody Suen Chan, MA Landscape Architecture Michelle Yuen Yan Ho, MA Landscape Architecture

Self-healing is a process of recovery motivated and directed by individuals themselves. The Selfhealing City is designed to allow residents to activate and accelerate this process through its passive spatial setting. The project identifies the three interrelated dimensions of wellbeing as: nutrition (edible landscape); physical activity (playscape); and mental wellbeing (art therapy). This informs its approach to spatial planning. One area is designated as an edible community garden, another – Chalk Quarry Park – is to be rehabilitated to offer active recreation



H.A.L.O = Model for Growing Healthy Infrastructure TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE BRADLEY MURPHY DESIGN (TEAM LEADER) Architects and masterplanners: JTP Engineers: Peter Brett Associates Artist: Sebastien Boyesen

HALO aims to deliver healthy infrastructure to residents’ doorsteps. By providing accessible, attractive and inspirational places, residents will be motivated to engage in physical activity as a natural part of their daily lives. HALO’s four key interventions overlay Ebbsfleet like a web, addressing the fragmentation of landscape and habitats, and limits to access and lack of sources of healthy food. The four interventions are: HIVES – access to others: innovative activity hubs that foster social and community engagement.

ARCS – reconnecting to nature: a ‘people highway’ that provides uninterrupted access to nature. LINKS – access for all: a greengrid network of conduits for community cohesion and wildlife movement. ORGANICS – edible landscapes: focal points for food production and habitat creation.

These interventions respond to local context through a range of typological treatments that are reflective of local landscape character, building a richness of experience that is unique to Ebbsfleet, while addressing the fundamental prerequisites for healthy living.

former Victorian pleasure gardens on Northfleet Riverside), watercress cultivation in the spring-fed waters of Ebbsfleet River during the 19th and early 20th centuries and the healing waters of the Roman settlement discovered at Springhead. Based around the concept of

‘Gardens within a Garden’, Blue Lake Gardens offer a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities, entertainment and healthy food experiences for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. A healthy city is a happy city.


Blue Lake Gardens TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE: CHRIS BLANDFORD ASSOCIATES Engineers: Buro Happold Architects: Proctor & Matthews Business Consultants: Fourth Street

Blue Lake is envisaged to be a pleasure garden for the 21st century, inspiring Ebbsfleet Garden City’s residents, workers and visitors to adopt active, healthy lifestyles. A sparkling jewel at the heart of the Garden City. Inspiration for Blue Lake Gardens comes primarily from the landscape’s assets and its local history, geography and ecology. These are: the azure blue water, dramatic white cliffs and green spaces (trees, scrub, grassland and reedbeds) of the local landscape; the rich legacy of the local area’s chalk quarrying heritage and the geological story of chalk; the history of Rosherville Gardens (the


Ebbsfleet Garden City Landscape Design Ideas Competition




The Blue Lake Chalk Walk TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE: MATTHEW HALSALL DESIGN STUDIO Architectural designer: Ryan Szanyi Team Name: Additive Urbanism Additional guidance: Buglife UK and Kent Wildlife Trust

The Blue Lake Chalk Walk seeks to create a unique wildlife attraction of national importance for use by local residents and visitors to Ebbsfleet. A mosaic of habitat types is created utilising the unique man-made geology and site hydrology of the former quarry site, united by a series of looping walkways. The Blue Lake Ecology Park punctuates a wider 5km circular ‘Chalk Walk’ route connecting new and existing communities across Ebbsfleet. It would be delivered in advance of the development, allowing the opportunity to explore sites as they are developed.


Ebbsfleet Sublime: The disruptive use of the Picturesque to create wellbeing and place TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE: LDA DESIGN Architects: Architecture 00 Business and public strategy: Vivid Economics

Places are more important to wellbeing than objects, found a recent study by Surrey University. This is because meaningful places stimulate a feeling of belonging, and of being physically and emotionally safe. As part of the study, people were asked to describe how they felt about a place dear to them. The majority of those questioned used phrases such as: ‘This place is part of me’ or ‘I’m drawn here by a magnetic pull’. The team believe that Ebbsfleet should celebrate the human desire for authenticity and connection with place

and people that underpins wellbeing. Ebbsfleet Sublime is imagined as a beautiful, carefully curated experiential landscape which accommodates productive land and spaces for play, work and leisure. It draws out the

sublimity of nature from the Ebbsfleet landscape and adopts the painterly techniques of Turner, Gainsborough and Lambert to create a heightened sense of wellbeing.



Everyday Adventure TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE: HUSKISSON BROWN ASSOCIATES Physiotherapist: Claire Powell Therapeutic & educational practitioners: Commonwork Trust

Everyday life could be an adventure for the mind, body and spirit – where the normal school run, commute or daily routine provide a sense of joyful delight, community interaction and physical activity. ‘Everyday Adventure’ seeks to achieve this. At its heart, the design aims to inspire active living and physical activity for all ages and abilities as part of their everyday journeys and activities, but also for therapy, recreation and enjoyment. People often need encouragement to act in their own best interest; it is not a given that by providing outdoor spaces, people will choose to adopt healthy behaviour.


The New Landscape Guides to Ebbsfleet TEAM LANDSCAPE PRACTICE: CHURCHMAN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Communication design: Thomas Matthews Engineers: Buro Happold

The New Landscape Guides to Ebbsfleet are inspired by the Shell and BP Shilling Guides, a 20th-century series of guidebooks describing the counties of Britain. These were aimed at a new breed of car-driving metropolitan tourist, and for those who took pleasure in the ordinary and peculiar culture of smalltown Britain. The New Landscape Guides to Ebbsfleet will be a glossary of words that tell of the special relationship between the people of Kent and the Garden of England. The aim is to reconnect people to place through the language of land and nature rather than specific or physical landscape design.


So design needs to be seen to be attractive, fun and the best option for a person to take. These are the issues that the team aim to tackle through promoting walking and other physical activities as the most convenient and preferred choice for everyday journeys and experiences.

Everyday Adventure at Ebbsfleet’s Blue Lake is envisaged as a ‘green prescription’ for preventative healthcare and everyday healthy living; an uplifting place that assists with wellbeing and engenders a feeling of safety, belonging and happiness.

Ebbsfleet Garden City Landscape Design Ideas Competition



A masterpiece in the making. V&A Dundee Museum of Design. Work on the building's exterior is complete and the museum fitting-out began in February with the official opening scheduled for September 2018.

Client: Victoria and Albert Museum Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates, Japan Landscape Architects: Optimised Environments (OPEN), Edinburgh Contractor: BAM Sub-contractor: Careys Hardscape supplied: Kobra granite paving, benches, tactiles and kerbs and Tezal Grey, Pheno Grey and Jinan Blue granite setts. Hardscape are also supplying Carlow Blue Fossil Dark Honed limestone paving internally. For further information on our paving products please visit: or telephone: 01204 565 500.


PROJECTS By Dr Helen Kingston

Dr Helen Kingston is senior partner and lead GP at Frome Medical Practice. She set up the Compassionate Frome project with Jenny Hartnoll, who is the service lead for Health Connections.

The compas 1. Frome Town Centre, Somerset. © Jim Wileman


In 2013, GP Helen Kingston launched a project to combat isolation in the Somerset town of Frome. Every year since it started, the number of emergency hospital admissions in Frome has gone down. It is a story of what courage, collaboration and community can do. Frome is a market town of 26,000 people in north-east Somerset, in the commuter belt for the nearby cities Bath and Bristol. It has a strong sense of community, a flourishing arts scene and a town centre that has been reinvigorated by independent retailers. That spirit is exemplified by its council leadership – Frome has been a ‘flat-pack democracy’ since 2011 32

when it elected a town council of independent councillors. In 2018, Frome was voted the best place to live in the South-West by The Sunday Times. So how does creating a vibrant community translate into a healthy one? In 2012, Frome’s GP surgeries and community services for health relocated to a purpose-built health park. With the move came a

determination to work with the other practices in the Mendip district – an area covering about 115,000 people – to create health services that were truly focused on wellbeing, rather than on disease. Loneliness and a lack of strong social connections has been demonstrated to have a stronger impact on likelihood of death than many of the issues that public health commonly focuses on, such as

sionate city To date, Julie has trained over 650 community connectors. Each person holds an average of 20 conversations every year, which means they reach out to more than 13,000 other people in their communities, hugely amplifying the work of the paid staff within the project.

obesity, alcohol, smoking, exercise or high blood pressure. We wanted to feel that we were making a difference to people’s lives. Frome Medical Practice led the project and an enlightened clinical commissioning group (CCG) in Somerset awarded the Mendip practices a grant to employ a community development worker. From here, we began the process of mapping the myriad groups and organisations that already existed across the district and created a website – Health Connections Mendip – where these resources could be readily accessed by all. Somerset CCG, led by David Slack, gave devolved leadership to local health leaders. This enabled the project to evolve, embedding community development into GP practices and allowing GPs to have more open, holistic discussions with their patients. And we were able to offer them access to community resources through the website. With further support in 2015, the project grew to a team of six health connectors across Mendip, and a further two part-time community development workers, who were employed by the Frome Medical Practice. Frome Town Council then offered joint funding for a community connector lead, Julie Carey-Downes, to create a network of ‘community connectors’. These are informed and interested individuals from all walks of life, who signpost friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to support in their local community. To date, Julie has trained over 650 community connectors. Each person

holds an average of 20 conversations every year, which means they reach out to more than 13,000 other people in their communities, hugely amplifying the work of the paid staff within the project. Throughout the project, NHS service lead Jenny Hartnoll has helped it build scale, enabling the community in Frome to come together. The resources we already had in place are now more easily found; where voluntary services lack capacity, they are supported to find new volunteers; services that had not previously worked closely with each other, now do. We even have a weekly ‘Talking Cafe’, that acts as meeting point for those unsure where to start in finding help. The project is making a difference at scale in a truly collaborative way.

Winning hearts and minds Feedback from those who come into contact with the service has been extremely positive. It has also transformed the working lives of the GPs and other health workers in Frome. By enabling them to focus on what really matters to each individual, it has given them the tools to deal more effectively with the human being in front of them – valuable tools that help to heal the distress and suffering caused by social isolation and a lack of sense of self and community. It has transformed the way we work at Frome Medical Practice: a systematic and proactive approach to identify those who might be in need is now embedded in the practice. After three years of a fully embedded model, the Compassionate

Frome project has shown year-on-year reductions in the number of patients being admitted as emergencies to hospital. The savings realised suggest that, not only does this way of working improve the quality of care provided, but that it could also be cost-effective. And, with support from Compassionate Communities UK, the model is being now considered in other health communities. There is still so much more that could and needs to be done. The project has taken a public health approach, trying to improve the town for all rather than a particular sector. It has allowed initiatives to bubble up and encouraged local enthusiasts to innovate. The team has been bold and non-proscriptive. The project has had the courage to take risks, learn from mistakes and move forward. The community has risen to the challenge and continues to support one another. Frome has been a fertile environment to support this approach, but we are all human, and in towns and cities across the country our needs are the same. What has been special in Frome has been the opportunity to develop this project at a truly local level without interference from topdown micromanagement. Reaching out to each other with kindness and humanity creates a better society – and the results suggest this doesn’t have to cost more. Helen Kingston and Jenny Hartnoll are grateful to Somerset CCG for its continuing support and funding of the Health Connections service. 33

PROJECTS By Alicia Gomez Jimenez

Alicia Gomez Jimenez is a landscape architect and architect in Gensler’s London office.

Carefully designed Research into landscape’s role in therapeutic care is the bedrock of Gensler’s design for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice in north London, creating an indoor-outdoor care journey that starts the moment you arrive.


Project: Landscape Design for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice Client: Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice Location: Byng Road, Barnet, London Landscape architect: Gensler Architect: Squire and Partners


1. Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice entrance garden. 2. The contemplation garden. 3. Play zone and sensory garden. 4. Staff terrace and horticultural garden. © Gensler & Luxigon.


tudies in the Netherlands, Canada and Japan have shown that a 10 per cent increase in exposure to green space translates to five years fewer of expected health problems. As Roger Ulrich set out in his 2002 paper, ‘Health Benefits of Gardens in Hospitals’, just three to five minutes in nature or viewing natural scenery can help patients in hospitals recover faster. It reduces the physiological indicators of stress and improves mood, aiding in healing. The adoption of integrated care systems, where outdoor healing and therapeutic gardens complement clinical indoor treatment rooms, is fundamental to a holistic care approach. As landscape practitioners, we have a huge responsibility to deliver high-quality inclusive environments that facilitate the connection between people and place, while improving our communities’ physical, psychological and social wellbeing. So I was excited when the opportunity arose to put these values into practice in the land­ scape design of the new Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice (NACH). It’s the first community-based children’s hospice in central and north London. The project started as a pro bono initiative in collaboration with my Gensler colleague, Jessica Harding, to produce a concept design for the hospice’s outdoor spaces. Somewhere that was safe and restorative, where children with life-limiting and lifethreatening conditions and their families could find respite. Through a close dialogue with the client, we were able to inspire NACH, which, despite a limited budget and ever-expanding brief, remained aware of the importance of landscape and its healing properties. This support has been crucial to the continued success of the project.


Accessibility and inclusivity The landscape concept is articulated around the infinity symbol, speaking directly to the cycle of life, energy and nature. This is physically manifested on site through a continuous path – The Infinity Ribbon – which establishes an accessible and identifiable route

through the eight gardens. The ribbon threads building and landscape together, creating a multi-sensory journey through the gardens that stimulates behavioural, physiological, and neurological changes in the children, their families, and the care staff – the ultimate link to healing and general wellbeing.



Healing through nature The 0.85-hectare site for the hospice is located next to a beautiful and scenic nature reserve in the London Borough of Barnet. This setting gave us the perfect context to create an immersive experience of nature that would help facilitate the healing and grieving process. To address the children’s needs and challenges, our design was based on four principles.

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The opportunity to make choices When entering a healthcare facility, the number of choices available to us are diminished. To counterbalance that situation, our proposal for the outdoors, while responding to the adjacent indoor programme, offers the children and staff a variety of gardens that respond to different needs and moods. Upon arrival, the ‘Entrance Garden’ is a welcoming and cheerful terraced landscape, with flowering trees and ornamental understory species. With a more formal character, it mediates between the urban residential context and the new building, offering a variety of paths and access points, and creating opportunity for both social interaction and spaces for reflection. On the south side, adjacent to the office wing of the hospice, the ‘Staff Terrace’ is informed by Stephen Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory, which suggests that mental fatigue and concentration can be improved by time spent in nature. With moveable furniture, the space allows for informal seating and gathering to take place. Raised planters with ornamental planting and Japanese flowering crabapple trees partially enclose the terrace, creating some privacy. Continuing along the ribbon path, a series of therapeutic and playful gardens are sequenced next to the therapy rooms and lead to the ‘Contemplation Garden’. One level lower than the rest of the outdoor spaces, and enclosed by the bereavement suites, the garden is a tranquil and quiet space. Three species of flowering shrubs enclose a series of outdoor rooms – privately accessed from each of the suites – where families can find peace and comfort in their grieving process. DESIGN PRINCIPLE 3

Exercise and social interaction Overlooking the adjacent meadows, the ‘Play Zone’ encourages children and siblings to exercise and play in a safe and secure environment with inclusive play equipment. An open lawn area offers the children, their families, and friends the opportunity to come together at weekends. 36


Engagement with nature The hospice users and visitors will be offered a diverse experience of nature beyond the programmed spaces. However, special attention has been given to the design of the interaction between nature and the children in the three treatment gardens. The ‘Horticultural Garden’, with wheelchairfriendly raised planting beds, will promote gardening as a rehabilitating group activity. The ‘Therapy Garden’ will be an outdoor treatment room with a variety of timber play equipment adapted to the children’s individual needs. We are currently in the process of holding workshops with the hospice’s care staff and play equipment suppliers to better understand the requirements. Lastly, the ‘Sensory Garden’ is an experiential place where vegetation and changes in ground level play an important role in stimulating the senses. The sensory experience happens along an organic timber pathway that connects the Observation Terrace with the Nature Reserve. Framing the pathway, raised planting beds will have a variety of aromatic, colourful or sound-making planting species such as Lavandula angustifolia, Mentha spicata, Cosmos atrosanguineus, Briza maxima or Beta vulgaris. At the end, the timber boardwalk discreetly winds into the existing woodland area, where the users can pause to reflect or be submersed in the natural environment.

llustrated landscape plan. © Gensler

‘Infinity Ribbon’ concept. © Gensler

Current status Gensler’s landscape team is currently working on the RIBA Stage 4 Package in order to start the outdoor works on site by the end of the summer. Our aim is for NACH to set the benchmark of how to explore new boundaries in assisted healing with an immersive visual and physical experience in nature. Once completed, the project will offer a holistic indoor-outdoor care journey that begins on arrival, expands throughout the building, and continues through the therapeutic gardens. This will demonstrate the ultimate link between the children’s healing, wellbeing and nature.

Soft landscape plan and planting palette. © Gensler

Landscape zoning diagram. © Gensler

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PROJECTS By Alison King

Alison King is principal landscape architect at LUC.

How to measure fun Advocating for investment in landscape for public health requires good research and LUC is developing a tool for evaluating the positive impacts of play on health and wellbeing. If successful, it plans to roll it out across all its completed and in-the-pipeline play projects.


n 2017, the LUC board of directors agreed to fund an internal research and development initiative to formalise our under­ stand­ing of how children play. As designers, we continue to explore the relationship between the qualities of a play space and the impact that this has on the type and amount of play, risk-taking, exercise and freedom a child will experience. This initiative is an attempt to measure the health and wellbeing benefits both to children and to the wider community. The seed of this idea was sown when LUC won a tender to work with the London Borough of Camden, designing three school playgrounds.

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This was a new kind of project for us; it was groundbreaking because of the funding source, the link to research and because of the explicit aim of the project – to tackle childhood obesity. ‘Camden Active’ was a rare piece of joined-up thinking: an initiative partfunded by the NHS (Camden CCG and Camden and Islington Public Health), incorporating scientific research and data collection (by UCL), and bringing together designers and school children to co-design, all with the aim of reducing the BMI of the children. The results of UCL’s research were published in June 2017 in a paper called ‘The effect of major school playground reconstruction

on physical activity and sedentary behaviour: Camden Active spaces.’ In parallel, LUC carried out its own play observations before and after the play areas were installed. We realised that we were interested in collecting a wider set of data that went beyond levels of physical activity to look at broader health and wellbeing questions. We wanted to try to measure, for example, engagement with nature, and to collect selfreported assessments of feelings. The UCL study had showed an increase in activity in younger children but was disappointing for the older children. However, the anecdotal and observational evidence reported fewer accidents during playtime, fewer children opting to sit indoors at playtime, and a self-reported increase in enjoyment. Teachers reported improved behaviour and increased concentration levels during lessons. In another project, this time for the London Borough of Hounslow, we designed four public playgrounds in local parks where the aim was to tackle childhood obesity by increasing levels of physical activity. Again, the client was working with university researchers (this time at St Mary’s University) to collect data to measure impacts, and again the funding came


We realised that we were interested in collecting a wider set of data that went beyond levels of physical activity to look at broader health and wellbeing questions.

1. School engagement, Hounslow Active. © LUC

2. Pine Forest Play, Tumbling Bay, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. © LUC

3. Park Play Area concept sketch, Hounslow Active. © LUC

4. Living willow teepees, St Dominic’s School, Camden Active. © LUC


from public health budgets for physical activity and sports. As part of our design process, we undertook play observations at the existing play areas. The playgrounds are opened in June 2018 and, in the autumn, LUC will collect post-occupancy data using our monitoring and evaluation tool. This tool is a key part of our research and development initiative and combines data collection, play observations, and questionnaires. We are currently piloting the tool and plan to roll out the methodology to all our play schemes, both recently completed,

including Tumbling Bay at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Cassiobury Park, and The Level in Brighton, and those in-the-pipeline with The Royal Parks at Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park and Kensington Gardens. Developing the tool is an iterative and fascinating process. The choice of questions and the categories of observation are being honed as the tool evolves. It is a process of working out what is important to us as landscape architects. We want to know what works and what doesn’t in our designs. We can collect so-called ‘hard’ data from our observations, but we also want to understand how children and carers perceive a place, what they value, and how they feel it impacts them. We believe play areas can be a catalyst to improve connectivity, walkability, and intergenerational contact. They can have impacts on a range of health and wellbeing factors such as social isolation, contact with nature and modes of transport. That’s why our aim is to evolve our assessment tool to capture wider impacts on the context and surrounding community and, ultimately, to adapt the method to suit other types of places, such as our university campus and tertiary


education schemes, as well as schemes for our social housing and public-realm projects. We hope that the evidence-base we accumulate will not only inform our designs, but also enable us to speak the language of future clients, such as public health organisations. If we can do that, we can assist them to release funding for better quality, more accessible green spaces with room for everyone to play. Alison King and Jennette EmeryWallis from LUC will be talking about their work and the wider health and wellbeing agenda at the LI Conference at the University of Greenwich in October. 39

PROJECTS By Dr Denise Hewlett

Dr Denise Hewlett is a senior fellow for knowledge exchange at the University of Winchester and principal investigator of the ESRC-funded Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity project.


Tranquillity baseline First-in-the-field project led by University of Winchester is aiming to put tranquil places on the map by making free GIS tools available to UK local authorities.


ne of the most challenging aspects of our profession concerns how we manage and plan significant spaces. I’m thinking of those such as designated landscapes and extensive urban greenspaces, especially those considered intrinsically beautiful and possessing abstract qualities. Of these, tranquillity is arguably one of the most elusive to define, identify, manage and map in order to inform planning decisions.


Tranquillity is as much a state of mind as an experience of environmental qualities and this complexity makes it open to multiple interpretations, many of which are highly subjective and indeterminable. Yet, its appeal is evident, with tranquil experiences commonly reported as one of the key reasons for visiting the countryside, city parks and other urban oases. With increasing evidence that tranquillity is good for our health and wellbeing, the popularity of

this concept is likely to grow. Research on tranquillity has progressed since 2003, largely due to the programmes on tranquillity mapping commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). These studies were important because they provided a method by which public views on tranquillity could be collated using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Local maps and models of tranquillity were generated, which then informed the construction of national

1, 2, 3, 4. Photos taken by smartphone during the pilot project for Urban Mind App.

Tranquillity tech

© Urban Mind



Soundscape App Created in collaboration with Guide Dogs UK and Future Cities Catapult, Microsoft Soundscape is a research project exploring ways that audio technology can help blind or partially-sighted people navigate the city. The latest phase of the project – still in trials – is the Soundscape App, which pairs a smartphone with bone-conducting headphones. Via the app, the smartphone communicates with indoor and outdoor sensors that relay information to the headphones, which in turn transmit the information directly to user’s inner ear and the sound is perceived as coming from where the object is located. Because the app is designed to be used in conjunction with navigation apps – as well as guide dogs and long canes – it works to fill in the rest of the picture, providing the user with a map in 3D sound. To date, user trials for Soundscape show that the app can help reduce levels of stress and anxiety, giving people with sight-loss more confidence when they’re out and about in an urban environment. product/soundscape

Urban Mind App In February 2018, the journal BioScience published the research findings of Urban Mind, an app designed to measure how your daily experience of the city affects your mental wellbeing. The paper, ‘Urban Mind: Using Smartphone Technologies to Investigate the Impact of Nature on Mental Well-Being in Real Time’, showed that exposure to natural features, including trees, the sky, and birdsong, has a time-lasting beneficial impact on momentary mental wellbeing. It also found that the beneficial effects of nature may be especially evident in those individuals who are at greater risk of developing addictive disorders and other mental-health issues. Urban Mind is a collaboration between King’s College London, landscape architects J & L Gibbons and arts foundation Nomad Projects, with technical support from Artists & Engineers. Developed for the pilot study, the app was used to monitor 108 individuals who completed 3,013 assessments over a one-week period. It gathered photographic, statistical and audio data from participants in real-time and real-life environments through a technique known as ‘ecological momentary assessment’.


Tranquil Pavement London Built by a movement called Tranquil City – a group of acoustic consultants, data scientists and socio-economists – and tech co-operative Outlandish, Tranquil Pavement London is an interactive map showcasing tranquil spaces in the capital. Launched in January 2018, the map is continuously being constructed by its users, who can add the location and a description of tranquil spaces through a mobile app or via the hashtag #tranquilcitylondon. Tranquil City aims to highlight – and by doing so, protect – oftenforgotten spaces that provide escape for people from stress, congestion and pollution, without having to leave the city. The map displays crowdsourced tranquil spaces, alongside information on low-noise and low-air-pollution areas. urban-mind





5, 6, 7. Photos taken by smartphone during the pilot project for Urban Mind App. © Urban Mind


maps of tranquillity. These studies were integral to raising the profile of tranquillity planning and to progressing our understanding of how the abstract and significant qualities of space might be quantified and incorporated into our planning processes.

Mapping the intangible Our own work, conducted between 2013-2015 under the Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity (BET) project, built on the CPRE’s original studies by extending the breadth of public consultation to specifically include residents. It also focused on ‘hard-to-reach’ stakeholders and encompassed participants’ views on rural, urban and coastline areas, and refined coarse GIS resolutions from between a range of 500 metres to 250 metres, to within 5 metres. The BET project collated more than 15,000 views on tranquil experiences in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) from environmental managers, local business people, countryside users, residents and visitors. Some of these views, unsurprisingly, were related to features such as woodland, the presence of water, and fundamentally related to natural environments. Others concerned a general absence of people and related to modern manmade landmarks and busy transport infrastructure. As with existing CPRE studies, these specific characteristics lent themselves well to GIS, allowing us to create a series of high-resolution models of tranquillity and non-tranquillity. Another important set of interpretations of tranquillity were those intangible experiential characteristics, such as peacefulness, calm, beauty, ‘a sense of freedom’, 42


and ‘getting away from it all’. People frequently use these terms to describe tranquil spaces, and they begin to help us, as researchers, understand the ways in which green spaces are significant for a sense of wellbeing. The problem is that they currently elude quantifiable planning techniques and technological processes.

Code of practice Given our findings, it is unsurprising that the identification and protection of tranquil spaces with public value is encouraged in the National Planning Policy Framework. In many protected landscapes, tranquillity is identified as a ‘special quality’ that is embraced in management plans. For the Dorset AONB, the BET project has informed management plans and policies, Dark Skies strategies and Discovery Site designation. It has also informed consultation responses to strategic planning and development management, and is providing greater insight to inform visitor management strategies. However, there is no national guidance on identifying tranquillity and although research has advanced with the use of GIS modelling techniques, Landscape Values Mapping and approaches of applied acoustics, there is no agreement on a nationally consistent approach to tranquillity planning. Part of the problem in agreeing a common approach is a lack of consensus around who should be involved in defining tranquillity and in determining how it will be managed or maintained in a space. For example, while our study involved extensive public consultation on what constitutes tranquillity, other studies use controlled laboratory methods,


where predetermined characteristics of tranquillity are tested. What these studies have in common is that they are timeconsuming, require multiple research skills and a cross-disciplinary approach, and need substantial IT resources. As such, tranquillity planning can be expensive to implement; local authorities facing budget pressures are unlikely to make tranquillity assessments a priority. To address this, we are testing the automation of an ArcGIS database based on the BET. The end product, Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity – Easy and Refined (BETER)’, will be freely available to any local authority looking to undertake their own tranquillity studies irrespective of time and spatial scale. The advantage of this approach is that BETER can produce a measurement of tranquillity over time – for example, it could contribute to measuring, predicting and assessing the effects of development on tranquillity in a given space. A second project will focus specifically on landscape properties considered to enhance public health and wellbeing. This project will help us further understand how the abstract qualities of a space – like tranquillity – contribute to enhancing public health and wellbeing, and how they may be incorporated into decisions taken on planning policies, strategies and management plans. As with BETER, this work will also be made available to local authorities across the UK. Contributing researchers: Sheela Agarwal, Richard Clarke, Roger English, Debra Gray, Tom Munro and Karin Taylor.


F E AT U R E S By George Bull

George Bull is an editorial consultant and editor of this edition of Landscape.

Come together


New president Adam White is planning for a more open and inclusive profession to appeal to the next generation. If you ask Adam White to explain the philosophy of his practice today, he’ll tell you about: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, The Nature Fix by Florence Williams, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and the autobiography ‘Life on Air’ by Sir David Attenborough. American author Louv coined the phrase ‘nature deficit disorder’ to describe the damage caused to children who never experience the natural world. Williams’ book unravels the role nature plays in health, happiness and creativity, and sets out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on 44

the brain. Sendak’s children’s story book is one of White’s childhood favourites. Attenborough’s work clearly needs no introduction – his ability to communicate the importance of people, place and nature is unrivalled. For White, these books represent a key idea – one he’s felt since he started growing cress in margarine tubs on his bedroom window sill at six-years-old. He says: ‘I still remain fascinated by seeing a seed germinate and grow. I’m currently attempting to grow the tallest sunflower on my street as part of a competition set up by my local allotment.’

Choosing landscape White started his career working for a local authority in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, before completing a post graduate diploma in landscape architecture at Manchester Metropolitan University. It was while working for a property developer in Manchester after graduating that an opportunity came up to work for the environmental charity Groundwork in Lincolnshire. White took it and, as Groundwork’s coastal regeneration officer, he designed and managed the delivery of various projects from the Humber to the Wash.


1. Adam White launches the new #chooselandscape campaign at the Presidents Reception held at the Garden Museum in July. © Paul Upward Photography

2. Adam White and business partner Andrée Davies welcome TV chef and one of half of the Hairy Bikers, Si King to their RHS Gold Medal winning Wild Garden. © Paul Upward Photography

It was at Groundwork that White saw the benefit of genuine community engagement during the design process – something he still values and believes should be factored into every project. After becoming Chartered in 2001, he went to London where he continued to work for Groundwork before establishing his own practice Davies White with Andree Davies. In 2007, the pair created their first RHS Gold Medal show garden, called Playscape, at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The aim was to help reconnect children with nature through play. White says their Playscape show garden and subsequent play projects formed part of the Play England bid to the government’s ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), which saw £235m invested in the creation of hundreds of nature play spaces across the UK.

Our profession is at the interface between natural systems, people and place.

Tackling plant blindness For the past 10 years, White’s practice has continued to create nature play spaces across the UK for the National Trust, RSPB, Forestry Commission and numerous local authorities. In 2017, 10 years on from Playscape, he and Davies were invited back to RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to create another show garden. Keen to promote the value of therapeutic landscapes to a much wider audience, they created the Zoflora and Caudwell Children’s Wild Garden – winning an RHS Gold Medal, RHS People’s Choice Award and RHS Best in Show. White says: ‘Our profession is at the interface between natural systems, people and place – it is what makes us different from many other professions. We are therefore perfectly positioned to help tackle two issues that remain close to my heart: plant blindness and

nature deficit disorder. I would like to see an increased awareness and understanding of these issues. As a profession, we need to do more to celebrate the crucial role horticulture plays in creating healthy landscapes and places.’

Working with the LI In 2012, White was made a Fellow of the Landscape Institute for his work promoting accessible and inclusive playful landscapes. He has always been a keen supporter of the Landscape Institute. He has co-hosted the LI annual awards for the past four years and represents the LI on the government’s Play Policy Forum. He is also a member of the Garden Media Guild and writes a monthly column on landscape for Pro Landscaper Magazine. By his own admission, White comes to the LI from the outside. While he’s always been a huge supporter, he hasn’t followed the typical route – sitting on various committees, working his way up to chair, and eventually running for President. ‘I’m the son of a market trader from Warrington who started off laying hedges and building dry-stone walls before going to university,’ he says. ‘People have said the profession needs someone like me with my vibrancy and energy. I see the Presidency as a great opportunity to use my skills to promote the profession during its 90th year to a younger audience, bridging the gap between related professions and celebrating the work of our members – be that landscape design, science, management or planning.’ White believes that the landscape profession’s time has come: ‘We can help communities with real solutions to the tackle the challenges of our time, whether that’s impacts from climate change, loss of biodiversity, pressures from urbanisation, ageing populations or improving health and wellbeing – and these needs are growing around the world.’

Stronger together 2

It’s no secret that White would like to see the landscape industry work more closely together, share best practice 45


3. Adam White gives an animated guided tour of the Davies White designed RHS Gold Medal winning Wild Garden. © Nick Harrison Photography


and encourage its members to network together. ‘We all have more in common with each other then we don’t,’ he says. He is keen for close collaboration, especially when it comes to promoting landscape and related industries to the next generation, and welcomes the recently developed formal links with the Institute of Place Management and the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Beauty. He is supportive of doing this with many more related organisations in future. Championing the role of horticulture in the profession is part of this. To White, horticulture is what makes the landscape industry so special and he wants to see the benefits of planting design, ecology and horticulture celebrated more in the public realm. White inspired the introduction of two new LI Awards categories: a new ‘Planting Design, Horticulture and Strategic Ecology’ category; and, in line with White’s vision to be more open and inclusive, the ‘Dame Sylvia Crowe Award for Outstanding International Contribution to People, Place and Nature’, which is open to 46

individuals and organisations globally and, unlike existing award categories, is not restricted to LI members. The LI Awards have attracted record numbers of entries for 2018. The LI report, The Future State of Landscape, published in May 2018, highlighted the challenge of finding a new generation of practitioners, with over two fifths of registered practices citing recruitment as a key issue. It also demonstrated that the sector faces diversity challenges, noting that people with disabilities and people from minority backgrounds are under represented, and that there is a pronounced gender pay gap at senior levels. White hopes to help tackle these challenges with the first big step being the launch of the LI’s #ChooseLandscape campaign. Speaking at the launch, White said it is vital that we tackle the growing skills gap and inspire and encourage more young people to choose a career in landscape, saying that he would be championing the cause throughout his presidency and enlisting ambassadors from across the profession.

‘The campaign makes clear the range of opportunities in landscape for all kinds of people – from someone who loves creative design to a science enthusiast, from those that are passionate about tackling climate change to those who just love using the latest digital technology. All of these passions and skills are needed in the profession.’ White is undaunted by the challenge to attract a wider diversity of people into the LI. ‘It is our ambition to be home to all landscape and place professional disciplines and to attract a wider range of people of all backgrounds representative of the very society we seek to help through our work,’ he says. ‘This will be our long-term test – to see if we can be recognised as an inclusive organisation.’

Adam White became president on 5 July 2018. He can be contacted on Follow Adam White on social media via @davies_white

It is vital we tackle the growing skills gap and inspire and encourage more young people to choose a career in landscape by working together across this exciting profession.

hardwood street furniture

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F E AT U R E S By Maxwell Ayamba

Maxwell Ayamba is co-founder of the Black Men Walk for Health Group and is projects manager for the charity Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM)

Black men walking Environmental journalist Maxwell Ayamba co-founded the Black Men Walk for Health Group in Sheffield in 2004. As a new play inspired by the Group takes the stage at the Royal Court Theatre, he reflects on why, 14 years on, Britain still has a diversity problem when it comes to the countryside.

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1. The group has evolved to include women and young people, and is now called the Walk for Health Group, co-ordinated by the Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM). 2, 3. The author, Maxwell Ayamba, Peak District National Park.”

We therefore lived our lives as if nature mattered.

© Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM).



was born in rural Northern Ghana where our livelihoods were intrinsically linked to the natural environment for sustenance, health and wellbeing. Our concept of nature was not for conservation, leisure and recreation, as espoused in Western circles. Nature to us was biocentric not anthropogenic. We believed that we came from nature and to nature shall we return. We therefore lived our lives as if nature mattered. I arrived in the UK in 1996 to study journalism at Cardiff University, and later completed an MSc in Environmental Management for Conservation, Leisure and Recreation at Sheffield Hallam University, as I looked to pursue a career that would reconnect me with my roots, with nature. This was a culture shock, as, in contrast to my fellow-students at university, I found the UK environmental sector to be almost all white. Undeterred, in 2003, I was one of the founders of a charity in Sheffield working to promote participation of people from ethnic minority communities in the natural environment. Then, in 2004, two good friends of mine – Donald McLean and Mark Hutchinson – both African-Caribbean

born in the UK – approached me with the idea of setting up a walking group for middle-aged black men. We came up with a name ‘100 Black Men Walk for Health’ inspired by the US civil rights movement’s’ ‘Million Man March’. We choose this name not to send out any political message, but because our vision is that one day we will have 100 black men walking for health reasons. As I write, we have not yet achieved this; nonetheless we have more than 50 people and the group has since evolved to include women and young people, and is now called the ‘Walk for Health Group’. We meet on the first Saturday of the month, usually at the entrance to Endcliffe Park by Hunter’s Bar roundabout, having already decided where the next walk will take place. Sometimes we go by public transport and sometimes we car-share to ensure that those without their own transport are able to go on the walks. We have scaled Ben Nevis, Scafell, Kinder Scout and Mam Tor. We have visited many other spaces in the Peak District National Park, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. One of the highlights of the group was joining the Ramblers in 2007 to re-enact the Mass Trespass at Kinder Scout for the

BBC’s Griff Rhys Jones documentary series ‘Mountain’. More recently, the group has been the inspiration for a National Theatre production at the Royal Court directed by Eclipse Theatre called ‘Black Men Walking’. Besides the health benefits, our motivation is to create an opportunity and a space for men to walk and talk, because there is a feeling among us that this hasn’t typically been the case. If you go back to our fathers’ generation here in the UK, they often led sedentary lives due to work and family commitments, which has led to a vicious circle of detachment from nature. Often they led very hard, physical lives, maybe working in factories, and didn’t always have a

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chance to talk about their hopes, fears and dreams. So we want to have an opportunity to walk together and share that with people who would understand our lives. Through walking and talking you are able to express how you feel, your hopes and desires. There is also a fundamental feeling of becoming connected to a sense of place, because nature is the same everywhere and is not a prerogative of any particular class, background or race. So far we have completed around 170 walks since the group started, with most of the walks taking place in the Peak District National Park – my favourite walking spot because it boasts beautiful ecology, scenery and breathtaking flora through the seasons. The diversity, character and ecological history of the Peak District makes it attractive to visit. The Dark Peak features the high moors covered with thick, dark peat; while the White Peak, so-called because of its 300-millionyear history of limestone filled with fossilised corals and other seafloor creatures, includes rolling farmland. The West Peak boasts moors, woods and pastoral valleys. It has more than 1,600 miles of public rights of way, footpaths, bridleways and tracks, and more than 200 square miles of openaccess land. From my experience as a black man, the image of me walking in the countryside is not something that most white people seem to understand. Their perception is that we should be walking in the city – black people in the British countryside is not something that has yet come to light or been written about. However, I don’t believe this should be the



4. The author with friend, Jenson Grant, at Mam Tor in the Peak District National Park. 5. Lady Cunnings Plantation on the Roman Trail. The Group has completed more than 168 walks since it started. © Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM).


case. The health benefits associated with having contact with the natural world for mental, physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing are also important. Black people are genetically suited to tropical, not temperate climates, and our genotype has made us more vulnerable to all kinds of health issues, especially a lack of Vitamin D, which is known to trigger all kinds of illnesses. Most people do not have money to go on holiday to warmer climates, so to me it is about getting people outdoors, walking to get Vitamin D from the sunshine and the fresh air that the countryside provides. The physical activity, social interaction and bonding with nature that comes with that is, I believe, a therapy for people’s general wellbeing. Over the past 20 years that I’ve been walking in the British countryside, I would say that I have seen a gradual change in the number of ethnic minority people visiting the countryside for walks. Nonetheless, the countryside remains a predominantly white, middle-class domain, especially when it comes to marketing and publicity materials. You don’t see black people in countryside jobs or occupations – there are no black role models in the countryside environment. If we are talking about

promoting equality and diversity, there is still a long way to go bring about positive change in the countryside. Real change, I believe, will take a lot of commitment, passion and desire. There have been a number of articles, policy documents and pieces of academic research about issues of exclusion of ethnic minorities in the British countryside environment, but the people who have been written about don’t have access to this information or the power to act on it. There is a lack of political will in terms of addressing diversity in the countryside – from my experience, it is all tokenism. If human health and wellbeing is said to be closely linked to access to nature, why shouldn’t this be actively promoted to people in lower socio-economic groups where many of the health issues – especially, mental health – are the order of the day? We of the Black Men Walk for Health Group feel that walking in the countryside is a vehicle to promote our wellbeing. We have demonstrated that the British countryside is open for everyone irrespective of class, race or gender. But our achievements highlight a gap, and that is the critical role that access to the countryside plays in addressing issues of health and wellbeing.

From my experience as a black man, the image of me walking in the countryside is not something that most white people seem to understand.

F E AT U R E S By Dr Bridget Snaith CMLI

Dr Bridget Snaith CMLI is a partner at Shape and senior lecturer in landscape architecture at the University of East London.

Equal by design Dr Bridget Snaith CMLI explains how a formal Equalities Impact Assessment offers a rigorous approach to avoiding exclusion in parks and open spaces.

I We conducted


face-to-face discussions

2,000 online


The author plans to look into the impact of the EIAs once the projects have been delivered, as part of ongoing academic research into the subject of parks and equalities.

n 2017, I was part of The Croydon Destination Parks team led by Tyrens UK to develop masterplans for six parks on behalf of Croydon Council. The Council’s ambition for the project was that the six parks should form a case study for its parks more widely. Parks, Croydon said, should be central to neighbourhood wellbeing in the context of a rapidly growing population. At the same time, the project needed to identify new ways to generate funds and justify spending to ensure a sustainable future for the parks. Carrying out an Equalities Impact Assessment to evaluate how decisions would impact equalities at every stage of the project – from baseline to masterplan – meant that we were always alive to the potential conflicts between pay-foruse facilities, revenue generation and cost reduction, and the overall goal of enhancing health and wellbeing benefits for Croydon’s diverse community. The Equality Act 2010 requires that when a new public policy or strategy is proposed, the potential impacts with regard to protected characteristics (established by the Act) are assessed. The impact assessment must inform the policy or strategy, so everyone benefits equally. For our Equalities Impact Assessment, we started by identifying findings from research on park use that was associated with each characteristic or combination of characteristics. These are the key issues we identified: AGE Safety is a key concern. Equality means ensuring that everyone can use the parks with confidence and that appropriate activity is provided across the spectrum of ages.

DISABILIT Y Reducing accessibility barriers for mobility impairments, accessible play facilities, and accessible toilets are a starting point. Health and wellbeing can be enhanced across a range of long-term illnesses and impairments by providing opportunities for sociability, for quiet, and for activities like gardening, as well as physical exercise. GENDER REASSIGNMENT, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION Research for both protected characteristics relates mainly to exclusion from park space through fear and harassment. Designs to promote confidence and safety are key. PREGNANCY AND MATERNIT Y Again – perceived safety, but also buggy-accessible paths, toilets and baby-changing facilities. RACE, RELIGION OR BELIEF Proportionately more people of black and minority ethnicities (BME) are on low incomes in the UK, so ensuring income generation doesn’t exclude low-income users could be an equalities issue under the Act. People of BME are under represented as park users, and as managers, designers, and friends of parks. Ensuring that views from all ethnicities were heard was crucial, as a dominant group preference might exclude a less vocal section of the community. Issues associated with religion include ensuring some dog control or dog-free space, and provision of changing facilities, or identifying more private outdoor spaces that can be booked for single-sex sessions.

SEX Men’s access to park space can be limited by social pressure if the primary function is perceived to be as a space for children. Women tend to be more fearful in park space than men. Again, ensuring spaces are designed to promote confidence and safety are important. Equitable sport provision, suitable changing space and opportunities for group bookings, including single-sex bookings, were all assessed. Next, we talked to Croydon residents and stakeholders about the facilities and future funding options for all six parks. We conducted 900 face-to-face discussions in and around the parks, which achieved close to representative sampling based on census data at ward level, supplemented by the views of almost 2,000 online participants. The engagement data provided direction to the team for our final masterplans; evidence in support of inclusive facilities including accessible surfaced paths and dog controls, even in country parks; and guided Croydon Council as to the likely reaction to different sustainable financing strategies. The actual impacts on park use can’t be measured until implementation, but the Equalities Impact Assessment provides a benchmark and we’ll be watching with interest.

The EIAs are contained within the masterplan for each park and are available online at: uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/ ambitious-for-croydon’s-parks/ourcroydon-parks-vision 51

F E AT U R E S By Clare Dowdy

Clare Dowdy is the editor of Furnace magazine and a design journalist for Wallpaper, Monocle and Wired.


There’s something about Maggie’s From their inception, Maggie’s Centres have always insisted that there be a dialogue between the architecture and the landscape. Twenty-two years later, the centres are widely regarded as exemplar spaces for cancer care. On scraps of land between buildings, old mortuary sites and car parks, oases of tranquility are being created. When a Maggie’s Centre is built, it is always accompanied by a garden, because the cancer-care charity believes in the benefits of good landscape. 52

Maggie’s Centres are the brainchild of the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, who came up with a blueprint for a new type of cancer care. The centres are built around her belief that people should not ‘lose the joy of living in the fear of dying’. Her vision has been carried out by her husband Charles

Jencks, an architectural writer and landscape designer. The first centre, which opened in Edinburgh in 1996, has been followed by 21 more in the UK and abroad, with another nine in development. The centres provide free practical and emotional support to people living with cancer, their


3 1. Maggie’s Hong Kong in Tuen Mun Hospital. © maggies

2. Interior Maggie’s Centre Barts in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. © Stephen Holl Architects

3. Maggie’s Dundee in Ninewells Hospital. © maggies

3. Exterior Maggie’s Centre Barts in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. © Stephen Holl Architects

family and friends. They receive almost 250,000 annual visits, and last year the charity raised £19.2m. Keswick’s manifesto is a product of her own experience of the healthcare system in the 1990s. She lived with advanced cancer for two years. Nerys Edmonds, a health promotion specialist who has worked with the NHS for 17 years, says: ‘At that time, it was a very medicalised approach to cancer with little support for patients and families.’ A landscape designer by profession, Keswick’s manifesto includes the need for ‘a pleasant, but by no means expensive room, with thoughtful lighting, a view out to trees, birds and sky, and chairs and sofas arranged in various groupings’. Her ideas are borne out by research: ‘Increasing people’s exposure to, and use of, green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in overall reported health problems,’ found

health and care charity The King’s Fund in its 2016 report Gardens and Health. There is a raft of theories about how such exposure affects our wellbeing. It is credited with taking our attention away from stressful thoughts, improving our mood and affecting our physiological level of stress. ‘The research reinforces something that we already knew, that experiencing nature is something that’s good for the soul,’ says Maggie’s CEO Laura Lee, a former cancer nurse who was also the charity’s first employee. The Maggie’s team attempts to deliver this by pairing up renowned landscape designers and architects and tasking them with marrying the inside and the outside of each centre for the benefit of its users. Making these appointments simultaneously is atypical in the 3 property world, but seen as an aid to fulfilling the original vision. Lee explains: ‘We don’t see the

garden and building as two separate briefs, because the garden is about creating a sense of welcome, as visitors come through the landscape to get to the front door. Then that landscape is part of the views from inside. So it’s one experience.’ Landscape designers are even invited to ‘influence the building and help make sure it is responding to the landscape’, she adds. ‘We’ve learned that through experience.’ Lee cites Maggie’s West London, which opened in the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital in 2008. ‘When [garden designer] Dan Pearson worked with [architect] Richard Rogers from the start, there was a chemistry of experience. Those gardens give views [from inside] and they’re almost art on the walls. They influence how light moves through the building. It’s given us a more coherent and more beautiful finished building.’ Maggie’s has tried to continue in that vein because ‘that’s where the magic comes in.’ Lee admits that it’s always a challenge on building projects for the garden not to suffer budgetwise, but says that ‘designing them together protects the garden from being a luxury or add-on at the end’. Similarly, for the extension of Maggie’s Edinburgh, the founders’ daughter, Lily Jencks, created the landscape in tandem with architect Rem Koolhaas’ design. Lee describes it as ‘almost a disappearing building, where you feel the outside more than the building’. Her hope is that the same sensation will be achieved in Southampton, where architecture by Amanda Levete will complement garden designer Sarah Price’s landscape.



A brief for all seasons Maggie’s landscape designers are briefed to provide sensory richness and a garden that is ‘in action’ in all seasons. The garden should be a welcoming extension of the inside space, offering uplifting views out from each centre, a connection to the changing seasons and, in warmer weather, a pleasant place to sit and relax. The landscape and garden designer Darren Hawkes, who has designed two Maggie’s landscapes, interprets the brief thus: ‘It’s about giving people who are at a real moment of crisis the opportunity to connect with the natural and planted world.’ Such a brief is easier to pull off in a generous space. Maggie’s Dundee by architect Frank Gehry – the charity’s first new-build – sits in a three-acre site. Garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd’s landscape includes stepped earthwork mounds around a 33m-diameter labyrinth. Likewise in Hong Kong, Gehry’s pavilions overlook a Lily Jencks-designed pond and gardens partly inspired by the classical gardens of Suzhou near Shanghai. However, Maggie’s CEO Lee expects just as much creativity in the tightest of corners, and Hawkes is wrestling with one such site in the grounds of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, east London. Having planted out a roof-top terrace, he now has a small courtyard area between Grade I-listed buildings and Steven Holl’s new glass and concrete centre in which to fashion a garden. The issues do not end there. The area is an existing public thoroughfare for the hospital, with an underground tunnel running through the site. What’s more, the centre is higher than originally intended and, ‘if we dig deeper than 20cm we have to have an archeologist present,’ Hawkes says. ‘We’re trying to overcome the practicalities to create something soft and welcoming, with a sense of enclosure and privacy, but without interrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic through the site.’ Hawkes is also looking for ingenious ways of incorporating accessibility into the centre without resorting to ramps and


5. Working concepts of the gardens by Darren Hawkes for Maggie’s Barts at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. © Darren Hawkes Landscapes

6. Maggie’s Oldham in The Royal Oldham Hospital © maggies



handrails, which would interrupt Holl’s façade: ‘His façade is so soft that to put something hard in front of it would be a sin.’ Possible solutions include creating very gradual slopes over a far bigger area, and raising the overall paving levels to curb height, so that the levels of hard landscaping and planting are the same. There will also be some arcs of planting at the back of the church. ‘They will allow pedestrians passing through to navigate easily, but will also offer tranquility and a place to rest for Maggie’s patients and hospital staff,’ he adds. In Oldham, landscape designer Robert Muldoon and architects dRMM tackled another tricky space. The former mortuary site is much lower than the pavement, so the centre

stands on stilts and is reached via a footbridge. Alex de Rijke of dRMM describes the building as a simple box with a powerful void in the centre. A birch tree has been planted in the centre of the gravelled garden directly under the building, and is enveloped by the void’s asymmetrical glazing. ‘The idea was of a kind of treehouse in its wood,’ de Rijke adds. ‘I knew that we didn’t need to do much more than bring the outside into the building.’ Lee backs this up: ‘In the architectural brief, we say we want views, a sense of perspective to the outside. That means our centres have the luxuries of voids and internal courtyards that would make little financial sense in a commercial building.’ Muldoon has installed a

The idea was of a kind of treehouse in its wood.

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greenhouse and potted herb garden at Oldham, where visitors can take part in gardening. More and more centres offer opportunities to garden, an activity that has therapeutic benefits, according to the King’s Fund report, which says: ‘Studies have shown significant reductions in depression and anxiety, improved social functioning and wider effects, including opportunities for vocational development.’

Maintenance as therapy Each centre now has its own gardener, many of whom work with volunteers to look after the garden. ‘It’s taken us a while to understand the need for a centre gardener to be responsible for the overall vision,’ says Lee. ‘That’s what makes group gardening a more therapeutic experience.’ Pearson put in a productive garden in Manchester, meaning ‘vegetable soup is made each day in the growing season, and people are taking away carrier bags of veg, which is not something we planned,’ says Lee. Blooming flora are uplifting, but Maggie’s is accepting of the realities. ‘We talk about ageing, dying, decaying, and the cycle of a plant’s life,’ says Lee. ‘That can give you a different perspective. It’s not just designing a garden for two months of good weather.’ Hawkes echoes this: ‘Dormancy brings with it the hope of spring and new life. That’s refreshing, as one could think that all year round there

should be exciting things happening, that the centres wouldn’t want to be in a garden in decline. The charity fills people with hope but also allows people to recognise the very hard truth that life might be shortened. The garden has to address that too. It’s a really interesting tightrope to walk, to get that right.’ Could the Maggie’s experience be having an impact beyond its immediate users? ‘I like to hope so,’ says Lee. ‘I think hospitals are trying to be more aware of their landscapes.’ Edmonds backs this up: ‘Across the NHS, gardens are becoming more factored into design.’ This is in action at Charing Cross and Dundee, where the hospitals gave the charity some land in order to make a better garden experience. ‘The hospitals knew that that would give views to their wards, so they helped us with some of the funding,’ adds Edmonds. If Maggie’s influence extends, then perhaps its high design principles will filter down too. ‘It’s easy to put in a bit of a lawn, flowerbed and path, but our role as client is to push the landscape [designer] to do the most that they can with the spaces available to us,’ says Lee. ‘We all think hospital gardens should be neat and easy to maintain, but if you start from that perspective you get the lowest common denominator. You should start with the most ambitious vision and work out how to achieve it.’

Six UK Maggie’s Centres in development

© maggies


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4 5



Maggie’s Yorkshire, in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. Landscape by Balston Agius, architecture by Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio. 2

Maggie’s Northampton, in the grounds of Northampton General Hospital. Landscape by Arne Maynard, architecture by Stephen Marshall of Stephen Marshall Architects. 3

Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden, in the grounds of The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton. Landscape by Piet Oudolf, architecture by Ab Rogers of Ab Rogers Design. 4 Maggie’s South-East Wales, in the grounds of Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff. Landscape by Cleve West, architecture by Biba Dow and Alun Jones for Dow Jones Architects 5 Maggie’s Taunton, in the grounds of Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. Landscape by J & L Gibbons, architecture by Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks Architects. 6



7. Maggie’s Edinburgh in Western General Hospital

Maggie’s Southampton, in the grounds of Southampton General Hospital. Landscape by Sarah Price, architecture by Amanda Levete of AL_A Architects.




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F E AT U R E S By Rick Pearson

Rick Pearson is the section editor of Runners’ World magazine.

Call of the wild With more and more people taking part in trail running and cold-water swimming, we ask: when it comes to exercise, what can embracing your wild side do for your mental health?


ime spent in the mountains, forests and lakes can boost more than just your physical fitness. There’s growing evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, to suggest that exercising in wild spaces can also improve your mental health. A study published in Social Science & Medicine found that people who were frequently active in forests had about half the risk of poor mental health as people who didn’t regularly play in nature.1 In Japan, ‘shinrin yoku’ (translation: ‘forest bathing’), which involves a contemplative walk in nature, is being prescribed as a way of combating the stresses of everyday life. ‘Forest bathing’ lowers blood pressure, blood glucose and stress hormones.2 ‘We are hardwired to be in nature,’ says Campbell Murdoch, a GP and the medical officer for Diabetes UK. ‘Exercising in outdoor spaces is fundamental to our metabolic health and our mental health.’


For this reason, Murdoch is one of a growing number of GPs who are prescribing parkrun to patients suffering from depression and anxiety. If you haven’t heard of parkrun (where have you been?), it’s a phenomenally popular free 5K weekly run that takes place in parks across the UK. ‘As a GP, when you’re prescribing something, you need something that fits with a prescription model,’ says Murdoch. ‘Parkrun does that as it’s local, easy to sign up to and takes place at a regular time each week.’ While the act of running has been proven to have a whole host of benefits – from alleviating depression to boosting life expectancy – parkrun also offers people a sense of community, something that Murdoch says is vital to lasting happiness. ‘The number one thing for long-term wellbeing is meaningful relationships,’ he says, ‘and something as inclusive and welcoming as parkrun helps to foster this.’

The statistics support this. In a study conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University, parkrun participants self-scored as happier than the general population.3 Happiness was measured using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, with parkrunners scoring 4.4 out of 6, compared to the national average of 4. In addition, 89 per cent of people that do parkrun said it’s made them feel happier.

Drawn to water Is the fact that parkrun happens in green spaces a contributing factor to the sense of wellbeing its participants feel? The evidence would suggest so. For any one run, people usually report better mood improvement (such as a stronger feeling of tranquillity and greater reduction in stress) in natural settings compared with man-made environments. A review of research published in Environmental Science &


1. Jonny Muir competing in a Scottish hill race. © Mike Craig

2. Outdoor Swimmer editor Jonathan Cowie in Wales. © Jonathan Cowie

Running has rarely been more important to me than during those moments in my life when I have needed distraction: relationship breakdowns, moments of pressure at work or times of grief.

Technology in 2018 found that these natural highs were even greater when there was a view of water.4 Speaking of water, Jonathan Cowie, editor of Outdoor Swimmer magazine, believes that similar physical and mental health benefits can be found through wild swimming. ‘The physical experience of swimming outdoors in cold water gives you a huge endorphin rush, and there’s also a sense of connecting with nature that you don’t get when doing lengths in warm, chlorinated water,’ he says. A study by Prague scientists in 2000 found that coldwater immersion boosted dopamine levels by 530 per cent,5 while numerous other studies have linked cold-water bathing to a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. In the 2016 BBC documentary The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, in which Dr Chris van Tulleken sought out natural replacements for antidepressants, the first episode focused on wild swimming. After four weeks of wild swimming, the subject was gradually weaned off her medication. When you consider that one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem in any one year – be that depression, panic disorder, anxiety or any number of other conditions – the promise of a treatment such as wild swimming, that’s both natural and free of sideeffects, is hugely appealing. In many cases, wild swimming comprises exhilarating swims in ponds or the sea at relatively mild temperatures of 14–20°C. But there is also option to brave icier waters and many opt to swim all year round. For Cowie, that’s part of the reason why it offers such transferable benefits: ‘If you can go to a river, lake or lido, and get into water that’s 5°C, there’s a sense of having overcome a challenge,’ he says. ‘Then you think, “If I can do that, maybe I can overcome these other problems in my life too”.’

Head for the hills Another activity requiring a certain amount of derring-do is trail running. Jonny Muir, author of The Mountains Are Calling: Running in the High


Places of Scotland, believes it offers something that its urban equivalent cannot. ‘While road running is prose, running in wild places is poetry,’ he says. ‘The latter offers a real escape from a congested, troubled world. Nothing matters but the next step – and while you are there it feels like you are being, not just existing.’ While Muir runs competitively, he also acknowledges the multifaceted role that the activity has played in his life. ‘Running has rarely been more important to me than during those moments in my life when I have needed distraction: relationship breakdowns, moments of pressure at work or times of grief,’ he says. ‘We all have our coping mechanisms. Running is mine. To run in wild places has an even greater healing effect.’ It’s easy to think of wild places – and the activities to which they lend themselves – to be the domain of the young and fit. But GP Murdoch thinks it’s time we challenged that notion. ‘When we speak about old people, it’s tempting to think of them as frail, but many old people are seriously fit,’ he says. ‘And they should be: human beings should be fit into their 80s and 90s – that’s what we should be aiming for.’ In both running and wild swimming, tales abound of athletes who defy age

and expectation to achieve incredible things in wild places. Muir calls the mountains and hills ‘great levellers, where being the fastest and fittest does not translate to being the best’. Cowie, meanwhile, is keen to point out that the oldest person to swim the English Channel – South African Otto Thaning – was 73 when he made the 21-mile crossing from Dover to Calais. Whatever your activity, be it a contemplative walk in the woods or an epic swim between countries, immersing yourself in the natural landscape will seemingly do far more than just make you fitter. It might just make you happier, too. 1 Is physical activity in natural environments better for mental health than physical activity in other environments? (Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow) 2 The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan (Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, Japan) 3 Regular running makes you a happier person (Glasgow Caledonian University) 4 What is the best does or Nature and Exercise for improving mental health? A multi-study analysis (University of Essex) 5 Human physiological responses to immersion into water of different temperatures (Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)


LI LIFE By Harry Watkins CMLI & Ben Brace CMLI

Harry Watkins CMLI is the director of Rootstock. Ben Brace CMLI is horticultural projects manager at the Royal Horticultural Society. 1. Scientist examining plants in greenhouse. Š Getty Images


Plant health in the 21st century Findings from the LI’s first survey on biosecurity suggests the profession must work harder to overcome the challenges of implementing biosecurity policies.


andscape practice sits in an awkward position in relation to UK biosecurity: while the majority of UK guidance relates to the specification, supply and management of plants, the work we do is affected by and affects the wider landscape and its ecosystems. The typical project for a landscape practitioner has biosecurity implications at every stage: project feasibility; landscape assessment; plant selection; hard landscape...packaging; contract and landscape management. The 60

landscape industry in general is rightly concerned with ensuring that healthy plants are supplied by nurseries, but it is possible that many of us are not aware of the influence we have to ensure that we effectively play our part in the biosecurity continuum Outbreaks of Ash Dieback, Oak Processionary Moth and Phytopthera spp continue, while Xylella fastidiosa looms on the horizon. It is therefore more important than ever that landscape architects embed a riskbased approach to biosecurity into all stages of our work.

What the regulations say The regulatory framework for biosecurity is administered by UK Plant Health Services, the umbrella body that brings together Defra and the devolved administrations, across the two phytosanitary regions of Great Britain and Ireland. Although plant health is the responsibility of devolved administrations, all parties work within the framework of EU plant health directives to achieve consistent approaches with specific policies. The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain includes the UK Plant

Too often clients do not instruct landscape practitioners to manage substitutions or variations to proposed designs

Health Risk Register, the recent 25 Year Environment Plan, and the Tree Health Resilience Strategy. Further detail is expected relating to issues currently under consultation by the Plant Health Alliance relating to quarantine proposals for imported plants. As Brexit unfolds, the hope is that these policies will be developed to ensure that the UK has a robust strategy to secure resilient ecosystems. At this stage, it is unclear what compromises will be reached to ensure that international trade is not adversely affected by changes to border controls (it should be remembered that legislation in the UK is based upon an Act that predates the EU – The Plant Health Act 1967). The UK is also a signatory to a range of supranational agreements that require it to develop biosecurity protocols. As such, our future EU status as a Third Country brings both opportunities to develop robust policies (including pre-border and border controls) and challenges in developing and enforcing a regulatory framework that aligns with those of our trading partners. What LI members think To better understand the role of landscape professionals within the biosecurity continuum, the LI Plant Health and Biosecurity Group conducted a survey of members in January and February 2018. Members working in education, private and public practice responded to the survey and statistical analysis was carried out to ensure that the responses were normally distributed and representative. The survey comprised two sections: the first part tried to gauge how interested members are in biosecurity and how aware they think they are of biosecurity issues; the second part asked respondents to answer questions relating to particular projects that they’ve worked on. The survey found that, although most respondents took an active or occasional interest in biosecurity news and the significant majority felt that they have a good understanding of the issues, this interest is often not supported by the organisations in which they work. Generally, the picture that results from the survey

is that most landscape professionals have an awareness of biosecurity but not enough knowledge of its risks or the processes that should be followed to manage its threats. This is most clearly borne out in the findings from the second part of the questionnaire which looked at case studies on which respondents had worked. Many did not know where the plants they specified had been grown and, for most projects, steps were not taken to ensure that biosecurity regulations, such as Plant Passports, were followed. The survey also highlighted an issue that exacerbates the challenges we face in implementing biosecurity policies: too often clients do not instruct landscape practitioners to manage substitutions or variations to proposed designs. The result is that, frequently, members are not instructed to oversee the implementation or to check that the contract for the scheme has been completed. This creates an impossible situation for consultants and local authorities to ensure that biosecurity protocols are followed during the build; many finished schemes end up with different plants to those that were originally proposed. To address this, helping members access guidance has to be a priority for the LI. Alongside the technical briefings, a Biosecurity Toolkit for Landscape Professionals will be published in autumn 2018 and the LI Plant Health and Biosecurity Group are developing protocols to be incorporated into specifications and contractual agreements. Members who want to develop a specialism in biosecurity issues may wish to apply to join the Plant Health Professionals Register, administered by the Royal Society of Biology. The LI’s Plant Health and Biosecurity Group is also developing a biosecurity CPD day for Spring 2019 and can advise at branch level for CPD more locally or on more specialist issues. The LI Plant Health and Biosecurity Group meets quarterly at locations around the UK. All members are welcome to attend the meetings. For more information,contact or

SECURITY ISSUES Highlights from the LI Plant Health and Biosecurity Working Group survey of members in January and February 2018.

44.7% reported that they take an

active interest in biosecurity news, while a further 32.5% of respondents reported an occasional interest.

68.4% read industry and LI news to inform themselves about biosecurity news rather than being supported by their practice or by undertaking CPD. 52.6% reported a general

understanding of the issues, with 30.7% reporting a good understanding of the key issues.

54% reported that their organisations either have not discussed biosecurity issues or have discussed the issues but have not taken any action as a result. 24.5% of organisations do not have a biosecurity policy in place, while 50% of organisations are thinking about creating a policy but do not believe that it is a priority. 20% of respondents reported that their practices actively support them taking biosecurity CPD. 29.4% of respondents did not know where the plants they specified had been grown; 16.5% knew where a few of the plants they specified had been grown; 20% knew where all the plants they had specified had been grown.

75.9% of respondents did not specify that Plant Passports were required for the appropriate plants. 9.7% of respondents reported that

the final scheme was exactly as specified; 37.8% reported that the final scheme was largely as specified; and 24.4% did not know whether the scheme was carried out as specified.

53.5% in over half of the cases, the respondent was not consulted about variations to the proposals.






Telephone: 0800 612 2083  





One tree within a 25m³ GreenBlue Urban RootSpace system has 22% of volume available for stormwater attenuation. Source: Kenton Rogers - iTree | 0800 018 7797


Reflective practice Two first-year MLA students at the University of Greenwich, Zoe Olive and Victoria Kent, reflect on the key themes that are emerging in their practice.

1. Research drawing of Singleton and West Dean. © Zoe Olive

Zoe Olive on seeing things differently Zoe is about to start the final year of the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programme at The University of Greenwich.

What you learn from being on site is invaluable especially the chance to get direct feedback from people connected to the location.

The projects that all of us worked on this year were extremely diverse, but I was struck by how they all shared an attention to community engagement and environmental protection. Perhaps it sounds obvious that landscape practitioners should be stewards of sustainability and resilience, from a socio-economic as well as an environmental perspective, but I found it inspiring that this underpinned so many projects. A big lesson for me this year has been how to identify opportunities to

bring these two things about. With infrastructure and urban development, for example, bringing the landscape perspective in early can make all the difference to how sustainability and resilience are considered in planning and design. Over the past year, we’ve looked a lot at the rural–urban divide, or rather the dissolution of it, and the pressures on land from a growing population. And though the sites we’ve looked at have been mainly in the UK, the issues that emerge are international. I’ve been impressed by how connected the industry is in this sense: there seems to be a proliferation of shared ideas, reinforcing practices and technologies that can be effective elsewhere. Technology is clearly driving innovation and improving processes in our profession, but I’ve found that analogue, human-scaled activities still hold great value. My first-term design course was focused on hand drawing, which was excellent for





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2. Drawing of Bow Hill. © Zoe Olive

3. Collective Space project physical model. © Victoria Kent

both observation and design thinking. In the same vein, what you learn from being on site is invaluable, especially the chance to get direct feedback from people connected to the location. An internship at The Eden Project with the horticulture

team, for example, showed me how much you can learn just from observing people’s behaviours and hearing their unedited comments. It has long been a dream of mine to change career to landscape architecture. Though it is a love

of planting that originally started me on this path, I have no doubt that the broad scope of the field will hold my interest for a lifetime. I am seeing the world differently already, and for the better.

In contrast to many housing developments in the UK, in IJburg, emphasis has been placed on creating large communal spaces, playgrounds and courtyards outside residents’ homes, for everyone in the neighbourhood to enjoy. This is as opposed to the many smaller, private back gardens we find in the UK. What was also in evidence was how these communal spaces encouraged shared spaces for eating outdoors; throughout the neighbourhood, communal seating areas and barbecues could be seen outside residents’ homes. This concept of creating a collective space for residents to eat

together, commensality, became a key aspect of a project I undertook this year to create a new approach to ‘collective space’. Further research into local food production and urban farming techniques led to the integration of a vertical urban farm as part of my design proposal. Although many examples of successful vertical urban farms already exist, widespread adoption is, for now, a ‘future trend’. Studying landscape architecture gives us a valuable opportunity to explore these future industry trends; to experiment with how we can include them in our design proposals and, perhaps, one day make them a reality.


Victoria Kent on future trends Victoria is about to start the final year of the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) programme at The University of Greenwich.

I’ve found inspiration in how landscape architects from other nationalities have tackled contemporary landscape projects.

How we respond to future trends in landscape architecture has been central to my experience in studying for my MLA at the University of Greenwich. In researching and exploring future trends for my own study projects, I’ve found inspiration in how landscape architects from other nationalities have tackled contemporary landscape projects: what might be considered a future trend in the UK is often a current or normalised form of landscape architecture elsewhere. This year, for example, a group led by one of the course tutors took a study trip to Amsterdam to better understand the different spatial typologies in the city’s neighbourhoods. The spatial layout of IJburg – a neighbourhood on an island north of the city centre – has developed, and continues to develop, its own unique identity partly through its innovative approach to collective space.




1, 2. LI members tell the world why they #ChooseLandscape.


#ChooseLandscape, the LI’s new national recruitment campaign is targetted at 14 to 22-year olds. Launched at the Presidents’ Reception in June, it has its own website and social media channels.



Get involved #ChooseLandscape will need the input of as many members as possible to help make it a real success. Here are some of the ways you can get involved.

Tell the world why you #ChooseLandscape We’ve created a editable, printable graphic for you to take out into your favourite outdoor space and let the world know why you #ChooseLandscape. Read more and download the graphic from https:// Simply download your choice of the colour or mono logo, type in your own message, print it out, and get snapping! We’d encourage you to take the printout outside your office or home and find somewhere beautiful nearby that you feel shows what landscape is all about. (It could even be one of your own projects.) Once you’ve taken your picture, post it online – and be sure to include the #ChooseLandscape hashtag and LI handle. Twitter: @landscapecareer Facebook: @chooselandscape Instagram: @landscapeinstitute Web:

Write for the #ChooseLandscape blog Our blog will be go-to hub for young people, career changers, teachers and career professionals wanting to find out more about landscape. We’re looking for top tips and advice articles, career success stories, day-in-thelife blogs and more to help engage new audiences. Have an idea for a blog? Want to write, but need help finding the perfect topic? Get in touch with us chooselandscape@ and we’ll tell you more about what we’re looking for.

Inspiring videos and images of your project? Share them with the world Thanks so much to those of you who’ve already been in touch to share your inspiring visuals. Not only is contributing to our content bank a great way to support a crucial campaign, it also lets you share the story of your project and work with a wider audience. Your images help us inspire, engage and educate younger audiences, and showcase the range of roles and passions in landscape. Full details on https://www.


What’s On Training and events programme 2018-19 Book now or save the date Recent surveys of LI members have indicated an appetite for learning both in person and online. Here is a selection of upcoming CPD Days and events. All CPD days will be live-streamed to make a selection of sessions available to members unable to attend. More details and links to bookings are available from the LI website:

25 September 2018

Mersey Forest Tree Health, Green Infrastructure, Health and Wellbeing Day

1 November 2018

Jellicoe Lecture The LI’s annual Jellicoe Lecture will take place in Edinburgh on Online booking is now open

22 November 2018

Landscape Institute Annual Awards With a record number of entries and two new categories, this promises to be a memorable event. Join us for the ceremony at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London from 11am to 4pm. Online booking is now open

29 November 2018

Place and Health Day, Cardiff Mersey Forest as an exemplar of the benefits of green infrastructure (GI) in action. This event considers the benefits of GI through the lens of health outcomes and natural capital accounting. Peel Holdings will run a session on GI from a developer’s perspective; there will be a workshop focusing on advocacy and GI; and another session will also look at the challenges of tree health management and Ash dieback. A tour of Risley Moss Local Nature Reserve will enable delegates to consider how some of the presentations may be applied in practice. Online booking is now open 68

Hosted in association with the Institute of Place Management, this event explores the links between place and health and wellbeing. Includes exemplar site visits with developers and experts, and an interactive panel session on the challenges facing the funding of public spaces.

16 October 2018

Digital Skills Day Manchester An interactive day investigating emerging immersive technologies and their role in the landscape profession, including: Open BIM, VR/AR, smart cities, gamification of landscape architecture, QGIS, LVIA, and the use of new technologies in public consultation and digital placemaking. Online booking is now open

Save the date for 2019 22 January: Landscape-led Planning, Leicester 21 February: Human Skills Day, Birmingham Coming in March: Natural Capital Accounting, Scotland Coming in March: Polypipe Aylesford Factory Visit 69

ON MY MIND By Sara Jensen Carr

Sara Jensen Carr is an assistant professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is currently working on a book, The Topography of Wellness: Health and the American Landscape, under contract with University of Virginia Press.

No green pill Landscape is a catalyst for healthy places, but tackling lifestyle-based diseases requires coordinated action. It is still difficult to truly understand how research into the relationship between landscape and public health will impact the physical environment – and it may prove to be even more complicated in the future, particularly in the United States. Our current administration has vastly cut back research funding for public health, gutted the Affordable Care Act (which expanded funding for preventative health measures) and targeted climate-related initiatives. With more apparent barriers in place than before, where should we focus our efforts? At a time when we know more than ever about the many ways in which the built environment can influence health, without putting it into practice, we risk making an Ouroboros of our research. We are at a crucial juncture, where we need to not only build more projects aimed at explicitly improving health in communities, but also have protocols and practices in place to measure their impact. Landscape and public health are 70

both inherently place-based, local disciplines. Landscape architecture, perhaps more than any other design field, must reflect its community and climate. Post construction assessments will not only serve to illuminate further dimensions of health improvements but give us case studies on how or how not to implement projects in different contexts. Luckily, in the absence of more broad-based federal funding in the United States, many municipalities and county-level governments have taken up the charge to reimagine their landscapes to both mitigate the effects of climate change and provide space for physical activity and social interaction. Northern California’s ‘Resilience by the Bay’ and ‘New York City’s Rebuild by Design’ competitions have assembled large, interdisciplinary teams, many headed by landscape architects, to rethink infrastructure with these goals in mind. However, the landscape of the United States is incredibly diverse and it is just as important to identify and track streets, parks and trails in smaller towns and

rural areas to understand the myriad of health needs that can be addressed in the built environment. And because some of the projects with the most impact will be local, we cannot underestimate the value of continued advocacy: we need to make sure all sectors of the public not only know how closely health and climate change are intertwined, but how they can be addressed through the medium of landscape architecture. Lastly, as powerful as the body of research is, the primary causes of mortality in the United States are chronic, lifestyle-based diseases. To change behaviour requires coordinated action in policy, and in social and individual, as well as built, environments. While advocating for the essential role of our profession in these endeavours, it will be key to open our minds and ears to our collaborators in different disciplines. We must not depend on the landscape to be a green pill, but rather a powerful catalyst in making healthy places.



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Join us at this years LI Awards Ceremony Thursday 22 November 2018 The Landscape Institute Awards are presented each year to landscape professionals in recognition of outstanding work. The Awards celebrate the value of landscape practice in connecting people, place and nature by demonstrating excellence, innovation and creativity in the natural and built environment. Find out more at Follow the Landscape Institute on twitter @talklandscape

Š David Hedges

LI Awards 2018 Headline Sponsor

Š David Hedges

Join us at this years LI Awards Ceremony Thursday 22 November 2018

LI Awards 2018 Headline Sponsor

The Landscape Institute Awards are presented each year to landscape professionals in recognition of outstanding work. The Awards celebrate the value of landscape practice in connecting people, place and nature by demonstrating excellence, innovation and creativity in the natural and built environment. Find out more at

Follow the Landscape Institute on twitter @talklandscape

Landscape The Journal of the Landscape Institute

Spine 4.7mm

The health and wellbeing issue | Adam White

Summer 2018

Landscape Journal - Summer 2018  

This issue of the journal marks five years of important developments in the relationship between landscape and public health

Landscape Journal - Summer 2018  

This issue of the journal marks five years of important developments in the relationship between landscape and public health