Landscapes of the Mind

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Radio 4 programme on urban green space, 27th September 2021, 11.00 am and repeated at 20:30 on 30th September 2021.

Period27 Sept 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleContribution to 'Landscapes of the Mind'
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletBBC Sounds
    Media typeRadio
    Duration/Length/Size30 mins
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThe impact of Covid and lockdowns on mental health has raised the importance of urban green spaces. New York’s High Line is one of the most iconic green spaces in that city, and its designer, James Corner explains how demand for green spaces has increased during the pandemic.

    He's working on a similar High Line project for Camden, with a design for a ‘garden in the sky’ running along a rail track. Camden High Line’s CEO Simon Pitkeathley describes the challenge and potential of using disused track alongside existing trains and its potential to provide green space access for those living along the projected route.

    The benefits of landscape for physical and mental well-being through history are described by Catharine Ward Thompson, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh. She discusses research showing that visits to green space and parks have increased as people recognised the benefit for their mental health of getting into green and natural environments. But inequalities exist between those with green space nearby and those from lower socio-economic groups who had less access.

    The public health value of urban green space in response to epidemics is described by Sara Jensen C, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She recounts how urban parks such as New York’s Central Park were designed to help with physical and mental health.

    The restorative potential of urban green space is described by Jenny Roe, Professor and Director of the Center for Design and Health at the University of Virginia.

    James Corner says while there’s more demand for new green spaces, and there’s the political will to provide them, it is more difficult to create them given the cost of such projects.

    A Voiceworks production for BBC Radio 4
    Producer/AuthorPhilip Reevell, Voiceworks for BBC
    PersonsCatharine Ward Thompson