Health and Wellbeing

Dr Fiona Clarke (Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences) is part of research team at the University of Birmingham "Centre for Urban Wellbeing". Dr Fiona Clarke has an interest in research on the wellbeing impact of urban nature. More information is available in this blog article and another recent article on Forest Bathing.

Dr Phil Jones is a cultural geographer who focuses on issues related to the city. Dr Phil Jones gave a recent lecture entitled Rethinking nature in cities | Geography Education Online as part of the The Geography Education Online website created by the Geographical Association (GA).   This lecture explores two case studies of how working with the natural environment can bring great benefits to those living in cities. The first example examines the role of sustainable drainage in flood mitigation. The second examines the health benefits created by exposure to green spaces. 

Prof Dominique Moran's research and teaching is in the sub-discipline of carceral geography, a geographical perspective on incarceration. Her recent paper looks at how "Increased green space in prisons can reduce self-harm and violence

Prof Rob MacKenzie and Dr James Levine's research looks at how green infrastructure can provide effective barriers to pollution from vehicles, markedly reducing the public’s exposure at the roadside. Amongst urban practitioners there has been some confusion surrounding the ways in which vegetation affects air quality. They have been awarded three successive Innovation grants from NERC to develop a quantitative Green Infrastructure for Roadside Air Quality (GI4RAQ) Platform, and to increase understanding of the effects of vegetation in this regard amongst public and private-sector stakeholders concerned with the design of our urban realm.  James has worked with Transport for London to develop their first evidence-based approach to GI4RAQ ( that builds on the simpler guidance he wrote with the Greater London Authority in 2019, 'Using Green Infrastructure to Protect People from Air Pollution.'


James Levine

Doctoral Research 

Forest Edge PhD student Eszter Toth's research project is entitled ‘Processing of emotional faces after forest versus city exposure’ aims to determine whether:

•Exposure to nature can promote better emotional regulation. 
•Exposure to nature improves recognition of others’ emotions.

Eszter Toth talks about her research

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