ReNUE Research

Our Aims

The aim of this research is to understand the characteristics of environments that are important for people to feel ‘restored’. We also want to know whether these characteristics are related to peoples’ preference for the country or the city.

Understanding the characteristics of 'restorative' environments can enable environments to be built to improve health and well-being.

PhD Opportunity

Resorative characteristics of Nature and Urban Environments (ReNUE): understanding health and wellbeing (Ref. SoSS-2023-004)

Supervisory team: Dr Louise Delicato, Dr Anna Sedda, Dr Pik Ki Ho & Dr Stephanie Wilkie

Research Centre: Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences

This cross-campus, cross-university project seeks to understand the characteristics of nature and urban environments that promote health and wellbeing by measuring participants’ responses to environments in which image characteristics are manipulated. We anticipate adopting a mixed methods approach, including experimental (e.g., evaluating virtual versus real-life environments) and qualitative methodologies (e.g., exploration of user experience). The project will also investigate how individual differences (e.g., neurodiversity, body representation and/or sensory processing), place preference and/or aesthetics affect an environment’s restorative potential. The project will advance theory (Attention Restoration/Stress Response), support development of environment-based health and wellbeing interventions and may enhance urban landscape design. Furthermore, understanding how individual differences affect the restorative potential of environments will ensure interventions and landscape design is tailored to target groups (e.g., playground design for children with special needs) and/or enhances the health and wellbeing of the greatest number of people.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Louise Delicato

When submitting your application for this project area, please select the option ‘Psychology, PhD’ from the drop-down list on the online application system. The scholarship will be located at the Edinburgh campus.

For more information

Get in touch with Dr. Stephanie Wilkie for more information