Committee on Architecture for Education

Natural Solutions to Improving Performance and Behavior in Urban Schools 

01-08-2019 13:24

Guest: Jenny Roe, PhD, Professor & Director | Center for Design + Health / School of Architecture – University of Virginia

We are very fortunate to have Jenny Roe, PhD – the Mary Irene DeShong Professor of Design and Health and the Director of the Center of Design and Health / University of Virginia Architecture School. With a multi-disciplinary background in design and environmental psychology, Jenny is building new trans-disciplinary research collaborations between designers and public health professionals to address the global health challenges of the 21st century including obesity, cardiovascular disease and stress. She currently offers courses for the School in Healthy Cities and Environmental Psychology. Formerly, she was Senior Research Leader in Human Wellbeing and Behaviour Change for the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) where she worked with environmental scientists and health professionals to explore how best to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities across the globe. Jenny is an Environmental Psychologist whom explores the interactions between people and their environment, from micro settings (i.e. a room or individual building scale or even submarines in the case of one recent project) through to neighborhoods and macro settings that include cities, whole cultures and geographies.

Jenny has built a reputation for pioneering innovative methods in hard to reach communities in order to quantify the health benefits of good neighbourhood design and green space, using physiological indicators such as cortisol – the stress hormone – and mobile Electroencephalography (EEG) to explore emotional activity on the move. She is passionate about improving the design of the built environment to promote health and wellbeing for all ages, from children and teenagers through to older people in care homes. Current research grants in the USA, include a study that is building a new model of health resilience; and in the UK, grant include a study of places can be designed to promote better mobility in older people, entitled Mood, Mobility and Place; a study of how Woodlands In and Around Towns (WIAT) can contribute to stress recovery in deprived urban towns in Scotland and a UK wide project for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exploring the relationship between housing, poverty and wellbeing.

Prior to her current career in academia, she was Principal Landscape Architect in a multi-disciplinary architectural practice in London called Sprunt specializing in social housing, educational and healthcare design.

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