- Edited by Sarah Atkinson, Durham University, UK, Sara Fuller, Durham University, UK and Joe Painter, Durham University, UK
The last twenty years have witnessed an important movement in the aspirations of public policy beyond meeting merely material goals towards a range of outcomes captured through the use of the term 'wellbeing'. Nonetheless, the concept of wellbeing is itself ill-defined, a term used in multiple different contexts with different meanings and policy implications.
Bringing together a range of perspectives, this volume examines the intersections of wellbeing and place, including immediate applied policy concerns as well as more critical academic engagements. . Conceptualisations of place, context and settings have come under critical examination, and more nuanced and varied understandings are drawn out from both academic and policy-related research. Whilst quantitative and some policy approaches treat place as a static backdrop or context, others explore the interrelationships of emotional, social, cultural and experiential meanings that are both shape place and are shaped in place. Similarly, wellbeing may be understood as a relatively stable and measurable entity or as a more situation-dependent and relational effect.
The book is structured into two sections: essays that explore the dynamics that determine wellbeing in relation to place and essays that explore contested understandings of wellbeing both empirically and theoretically.
Contents: Foreword; Wellbeing and place, Sarah Atkinson, Sara Fuller and Joe Painter; Wellbeing: reflections on geographical engagements, David Conradson; Understanding the impact of urban green space on health and wellbeing, Helen Beck; The significance of material and social contexts for health and wellbeing in rural England, Mylène Riva and Sarah Curtis; Wellbeing and the neighbourhood: promoting choice and independence for all ages, Rose Gilroy; The role of place attachments in wellbeing, Gordon Jack; Am I an eco-warrior now? Place, wellbeing and the pedagogies of connection, Andrea Wheeler; Is 'modern culture' bad for our wellbeing? Views from 'elite' and 'excluded' Scotland, Sandra Carlisle, Phil Hanlon, David Reilly, Andrew Lyon and Gregor Henderson; Exploring embodied and emotional experiences within the landscapes of environmental volunteering, Stuart Muirhead; Place matters: aspirations and experiences of wellbeing in Northeast Thailand, Rebecca Schaaf; Wellbeing in El Alto, Bolivia, Melania Calestani; A 21st century sustainable community: discourses of local wellbeing, Karen Scott; 'We are the river': place, wellbeing and aboriginal identity, Lorraine Gibson; The new therapeutic spaces of the spa, Jo Little; Place, place-making and planning: an integral perspective with wellbeing in (body) mind (and spirit), Ian Wight; Index.
About the Editor: Sarah Atkinson, Dr, Associate Director, Centre for Medical Humanitites, Durham University, UK, Sara Fuller, Centre for Medical Humanitites, Durham University, UK and Joe Painter, Centre for Medical Humanitites, Durham University, UK.
Reviews: 'This edited collection brings together some novel, and at times challenging, new insights into the dynamics that determine wellbeing in relation to place. The theoretical and empirical contributions offered by both new and leading researchers from different disciplinary and policy perspectives, ensure that this volume will be of interest to a wide range of researchers and practitioners working in the field.'
Christine Milligan, Lancaster University, UK
'The term "wellbeing" is increasingly appearing in policy and scholarship. This excellent collection of essays is therefore timely. The contributors offer an unrivalled depth of reflection and diversity of perspectives on the ways that place is integral to wellbeing's development and experience.'
Robin Kearns, University of Auckland, New Zealand
‘Wellbeing and Place is a wonderfully wide-ranging examination of two increasingly important policy concepts. This must-read collection offers a critical analysis of mainstream approaches to wellbeing, and shows convincingly how wellbeing and space are linked insolubly. This book takes our understandings of wellbeing in new and exciting directions.’
Tim Schwanen, University of Oxford, UK
'The book will be vital reading for those assessing the legacy of regional planning under New Labour, whether their core interest is within England or beyond.'
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design
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Full contents list
Chapter 1 - Wellbeing and Place