Landscape, Well-being and Environment

For those interested in the Well-being and Landscape topics there is a new book that has just been launched. The muitidimensions of well-being are featured in the book “Landscape, Well-being and Environment” edited by Richard Coles and Zoe Millman.

It is a compilation of studies that were originally presented at the international conference, ‘Well-Being 2011’ jointly hosted by Birmingham City University and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA, which I have attended.

The book considers “current approaches to well-being research and practice that fall outside the traditional concepts of well-being as part of medical research making links with architecture, landscape design, environmental perception, social interaction and environmental sustainability”.

I am reading my copy at the moment – good insights so far. Will post a review when I have finished reading it.

Urban Allotment Gardens – how many different kinds can we find out there?

I went to Germany for a meeting related to urban allotment gardens, which is a research project I have also been involved for a while. During the field trip, I was really amazed with the type of allotment gardens they have there, so different from the ones I have seen in Portugal and in the UK. Each plot is like a private familiar garden, very very personalized. Check this pictures out. What do you think? How are allotment gardens in your country? Would you like to have or do you have one?

Dortmund-9MAR2013 050 Dortmund-9MAR2013 019 Dortmund-9MAR2013 016 Dortmund-9MAR2013 087

Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe IFLA award goes to Portuguese landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles

Portuguese landscape architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles was awarded  today in Auckland with the highest landscape architecture award – Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe (IFLA award).

Gonçalo Ribeirto Telles is an envisioned man who since 1960’s has been giving voice and contributing to the development of a landscape policy in Portugal. He  has been responsible by several project across scales, from region-wide landscape  planning to the design of small parks and gardens. Noteworthy is the development of City of Lisbon Green Plan and the Gulbenkian gardens.


IMG_0510 IMG_0512 IMG_0491 IMG_0471 IMG_0403 IMG_0500 Above: Gulbenkian gardens photos


“Keeping an allotment really is good for your health!”

Keeping an allotment really is good for your health!

“I am doing some extra research on allotment gardens and in how they are becoming more and more important within the urban context. So I came across with this article in The Telegraph, from two years ago.

Dutch researchers have found that allotment keepers in their 60s tend to be significantly healthier than their more sedentary neighbours. While plenty of anecdotal evidence exists to suggest growing one’s own fruit and vegetables protects against ill-health, no one had carried out such a direct comparison before.

Agnes van den Berg, from Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands, said: Taken together, our findings provide the first direct empirical evidence for health benefits of allotment gardens. Having an allotment garden may promote an active life-style and contribute to healthy ageing.

Considering that allotments may play a vital role in developing active and healthy lifestyles, governments and local authorities might do well to protect and enhance them.

Allotment holders on Clapham Common, 1940. Via

The Experience of Landscape – A SONIC JOURNEY

Walking and listening music is certainly a nice way to discover and experience landscape. A friend introduced me to this project and I found it quite inspiring.

Sonic Journeys commissions artists to create new works inspired by specific stretches of landscape experienced on rural and urban journeys. The music is available for download so that you can listen to it as you take the same journey with the help of a map.

That is the case of Adrian Utley from Portishead who has created a new piece of music in response to a walk amongst the remarkable ancient trees at the National Trust’s Croft Castle in Herefordshire, including the 1000 year old ‘Quarry Oak’, unique triple chestnut avenue and mysterious ancient hawthorns.



Quite a while ago I found this research project called MAPPINESS. Basically, researchers at the London School of Economics are trying to look into how people’s happiness is affected by their local environment.

You just have to install an app on your iPhone and every time it beeps you are asked how you’re feeling, and a few basic things to control for: who you’re with, where you are, what you’re doing (if you’re outdoors, you can also take a photo)

Worth to have a look at