Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Catharine Ward Thompson

Professor of Landscape Architecture

Profile photo

Phone: +44 131 651 5827

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

I am interested in PhD applicants in areas of my research interest and expertise, as described above and below, although I do not currently have any funded PhD projects for which I am seeking PhD candidates.

Education / Academic qualification

Diploma in Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
PhD by Research Publications: The experience of landscape – understanding responses to landscape design and exploring demands for the future
Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton
Environmental Botany and Geography

Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA
Fellow of the Chartered Landscape Institute, FLI
Associate of the Institute of Landscape Architecture , AILA

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseSalutogenic outdoor environments, Inclusive access to outdoor environments, Environment-behaviour interactions, Health and outdoor environments, Landscape aesthetics, perception and experience, History and theory of urban park design and conservation, Landscape design for older people, Landscape design for children/teenagers, History of landscape design, Landscape design education

Biography

Catharine Ward Thompson is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of OPENspace Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh.  Her work focuses on inclusive access to outdoor environments and links between landscape and health. It includes work with children, young people and older people; it covers environment-behaviour interactions, historic landscapes and contemporary needs, and salutogenic environments. She was a member of the Scottish Government’s Good Places Better Health Evaluation Group. She directed the I’DGO (Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors) research consortium, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, focused on the benefits and barriers to getting outdoors for older people and their quality of life www.idgo.ac.uk. This has been followed by a project looking at Mobility, Mood and Place for older people www.mobilitymoodplace.ac.uk, with an emphasis on positive experiences and restorative outdoor environments. Her research on the relationship between the quality, quantity and accessibility of green space and people’s health and wellbeing, the GreenHealth project, showed relationships between objective (cortisol) measures of health and objective mapping of green space levels in the residential environment. A current NIHR-funded project, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission, is exploring whether a woodland intervention programme improves psychological wellbeing in deprived communities.

Visiting and Research Positions

Honorary Professor, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School

Highlighted research outputs

  1. Activity, exercise and the planning and design of outdoor spaces

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Landscape Perception and Environmental Psychology

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  3. Natural environments and their impact on activity, health and quality of life

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Landscape quality and quality of life

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Linking landscape and health: The recurring theme

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  6. Places to be Wild in Nature

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  7. Emerging relationships between design and use of urban park spaces

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  8. Wild Adventure Space: its role in teenagers’ lives

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  9. Development of the Scottish Walkability Assessment Tool (SWAT)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  10. Measuring the Quality of the Outdoor Environment Relevant to Older People’s Lives

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

View all (65) »

Highlighted research activities & awards

  1. Membership of National Walking Strategy working group

    Activity: External academic engagementContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  2. Memory Friendly Neighbourhoods Workshop 1

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. What Affordances Afford

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  4. Forum for Sustainability and the Environment on the theme of Cities

    Activity: External academic engagementMembership of external research organisation

  5. Using local neighbourhood environments to support health

    Activity: External academic engagementInvited talk

  6. Nordic Adventure, Connecting Children with Nature

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in conference

  7. B-Debate organized by the International Center for Scientific Debate, Barcelona, on Green Cities, Healthy People: planning healthy urban spaces

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  8. Using local neighbourhood environments to support health

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic lecture/debate/seminar

  9. Meeting to inform Japanese Cabinet Office representatives on a fact-finding visit on good practice in researching and designing Age-Friendly cities

    Activity: External academic engagementContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  10. DCLG Research Round Table

    Activity: External academic engagementContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  11. Showcase of world class occupational therapy research to meet the needs of an ageing population

    Activity: Participation in conference, seminar or training courseParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

View all (108) »

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