From Francisca Lima
Despite the exponential growth of research exploring the relationships between greenspaces, health and well-being in the last two decades, the relationships between blue spaces such as inland and coastal waters and health-related outcomes has been far less developed. Most towns and cities are built on coasts, rivers and lakes for good historical reasons and water elements have been deliberately incorporated into landscape design for millennia. Many early landscape researchers recognised the importance of aquatic elements but sometimes left them out of empirical studies because their effects were so powerful they ‘biased’ findings – resulting in a biased research focus on greenspaces. This talk will discuss some of the work we have been involved in over the last decade to redress this balance. It will highlight some of the key findings from our systematic programme of work that has used multiple research methods to explore water, health and well-being in landscape research, and highlight the importance of recognising, capturing, and quantifying the potential benefits of blue, as well as green, spaces.