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Personal profile

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.

Catharine directed the I’DGO (Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors) research consortium focused on the benefits and barriers to getting outdoors for older people and their quality of life www.idgo.ac.uk. This was 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. Curent research with older people is exploring the person ageing in place as part of the University's Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC) edin.care.

Catharine's 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. Recent projects funded by NIHR and ESRC, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission  Scotland (now Scottish Forestry), are exploring whether an urban woodland intervention programme improves psychological wellbeing and early childhood development in deprived communities.

Visiting and Research Positions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010

Diploma in Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1974

Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton

Award Date: 1 Jan 1972

External positions

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

29 Feb 201628 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • NA Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Environmental Design
  • Environment & Health
  • Landscape History
  • Inclusive Design
  • Landscape aesthetics
  • Environment-behaviour interactions
  • Salutogenic environments
  • Urban park design
  • Natural environments and health

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