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Conscious Cities Festival 2020: Sensing our City | Conscious Warsaw Webinar

22 October, 2020; 3:00 PM CET
Online free event, registration

Webinar will be held in Polish language, but the recording from it will be translated to English and avaiable after the event

The imagination of urban and landscape designers and architects has been captured by the idea that we read spaces as we read books. However, we have been witnessing a paradigm shift in the cultural world: we are moving from semiotics towards perception and landscapes are becoming sensescapes. Contemporary cities don’t always enable us a multimodal experience of space, they are not always designed with human scale in mind, they don’t always consider our biological and psychological needs. What is the ultimate meaning of human-centred spaces? Is it that in future urban and architectural decisions could be influenced by interdisciplinary teams including specialists who understand the complexity of human perception and cognition?

Sensing Our City is organized to discuss some of the topics around how people experience space and how it affects their attitudes, behaviours, health and wellbeing.

Speakers:

  • Dr Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo (NeuroLandscape, National University of Singapore)
  • Michal Matlon (The LivingCore)
  • Asst. Prof. Dr. Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska (Gdańsk University of Technology)
  • Dominika Sadowska (Divercity+)
  • Beata Patuszyńska (City for Children)
  • Anna Kotowska (Jaz+Architekci)
  • Magda Gawron (Proptech Foundation)
  • Waldemar Olbryk (Echo Investment SA)
  • Anna Petroff Skiba (Warsaw City Hall)

Organizers and partners: The Centre for Conscious Design, Impronta, NeuroLandscape,

More information: https://theccd.org/event/sensing-our-city-conscious-warsaw-webinar/

 

 

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Designing & Using School Grounds to Support Mental Health (Video Available!)

The video from the webinar is already available on! The webinar organized by the International School Grounds Alliance and the Children &Nature Network on how school grounds can be designed and used to support took place on June 23rd 2020, and featured research and design insights on how to design mentally healthy outdoor spaces for children.

Everyone interested in design for children will find a lot of inspiration in this video, in other words it's a must-see! We are very proud and grateful that NeuroLandscape could be a part of this insightful panel!

The program featured:

  1. an introduction to the ISGA activity by Kerry Logan;
  2. showcasing international best-practice examples, by Kathrin Schmiele;
  3. research and design lessons from neuroscience by Dr Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo;
  4. strategies for the design of schoolyards for students Claire Latané.

Related post

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Designing School Grounds to Support Children’s Mental Health: Examples from Around the World

24th June 2020
9:00 AM Singapore Standard Time.

Daily contact with nature is vital for supporting the mental health and well-being of children and young people. Join the International School Grounds Alliance and the Children & Nature Network for this webinar that will focus on how school grounds can be designed and used to support mental health.

The content will cover an introduction by Jaime Zaplatosch; and the work of ISGA by Kerry Logan; I will emphasize the importance of the topic and present a video showcasing international best-practice examples, followed by a presentation on the lessons from the neuroscience research by NeuroLandscape President Dr. Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo , finalized by a presentation on design strategies that reduce stress and anxiety and boost mental health and community by Claire Latané.

At the end we will have a Q&A session and an exciting DRAW together exercise!

For those who cannot attend at this time, the webinar will be recorded and share through the NeuroLandscape Youtube Channel.

Register for free here!
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Our Brain On Perspectives by IMAGINE CITIES | 23rd June 2020

23 June,  6PM MST

In Yuval Harari’s book Home Deus, he states that the greatest leaps in human progress were not simply the result of individual acts. Instead, the greatest leaps have been the result of our ability as a species to cooperate in large numbers.

Join us for an insightful conversation about how breakthroughs in neuroscience have led us to better understand how the brain functions when we’re faced with perspectives that are different from our own. By understanding how our brain works we can better understand each other, improve our ability to work together, and more effectively solve humanity’s most pressing urban challenges.

Special Guests

Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo is the Founder & President of NeuroLandscape, a non-profit dedicated to improving mental health and wealth-being through green space design. With a Ph.D. from the University of Porto in Landscape Architecture and Urban Ecology, alongside experience developing numerous research projects worldwide, Agnieszka possesses a unique understanding of how urban design impacts the human brain.

Maria Escobar-Bordyn is the Vice President of Creating WE, an organization that coaches CEO's on the importance of conversations in shaping corporate culture and achieving goals. After spending her early career on HR teams in two Fortune 100 companies, Maria spent 12 years at a global human performance consulting firm where she coached hundreds of hundreds of executives. She has a degree in Social Ecology with a concentration in human behaviour from the University of California, Irvine.

Mitchell Reardon is the Lead for Urban Planning, Design & Experiments at Happy City. Happy City is an interdisciplinary urban planning and design consultancy that uses the science of wellbeing to create healthier, happier and more inclusive communities. Mitchell is also the co-founder of Metropolitan Collective, a group of tactical urbanists who transform unloved and overlooked spaces. He received his Masters of Science in Urban and Regional Planning at Stockholm University and his insights have been heard on CBC News, StarMetro, CBC Radio and more.

Link to registration page

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Better Future for Healthy Aging Conference (BFHA 2020) _FREE ONLINE REGISTRATION!

The mission of the Conference is to stimulate research, implementation and scaling up innovations to manage health and wellbeing of the ageing population. BFHA 2020 is a scientific conference that will enable discussion on the transformation of health and care services into more digitilized, long-term, integrated and personalized care models while promoting innovative ecosystems in order to deliver a better quality of life among the elderly.

In line with this mission, the Conference is to address growing demand caused by the global trends of population ageing and the expansion of chronic diseases by focusing on potentials large-scale implementation of innovations to foster functional ability and wellbeing of older people.

The objectives:

*  addressing issues of ageing of biological systems through the topics of regenerative medicine, neuroscience, clinical medicine and other fields of medicine with the emphasis on personalized and integrated medicine;

*  showcasing the impact of smart technologies for age-friendly ecosystems by providing a discussion on scaling-up innovations and solutions for age-friendly environments;

*  analysing the issues of ageing and healthcare system sustainability at various levels (e.g. institutional, regional, state, EU level).

Outputs: 
During the Conference, the participants will have a special section within the programme that will be transferred into the Recommendations. The Recommendations will be developed into the final Conference outcome – the Policy Paper which will be drafted after the Conference. The aim of this working paper is to develop forward-looking valuation pathways and impact approaches and dimensions of ageing research for transformative, mission-oriented research and innovation agendas, which can be taken up in the formulation of ageing services. The Conference and its outputs, including the Policy Paper are aimed at stakeholders, policymakers, the scientific community and healthcare providers.

The Conference will broaden the narrow focus on scientific impact measurement of ageing and healthcare system sustainability research, towards the aforementioned impact dimensions to which the BFHA 2020 Conference can make a fair contribution.

NeuroLandscape Delegate:
Dr. Agnieszka Olszewska Guizzo, President of NeuroLandscape is one of the invited speakers, and will give her speech titled “Green and Healthy Cities – Environmental exposures and Urban Design for Healthy Longevity” on 4th June within a session “Modern Urban Planning in the Service of Healthy Ageing”. The detailed event program is available here.

The registration is open for the general public and free of charge and opened until 26th May.
For more information visit https://bfha2020.hr/

We look forward to seeing you in June 2020!

Edit: The complete presentation is available on our youtube channel:

Conference organizer:  University of Zagreb  School of Medicine

Co-organizers: Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (Croatia), School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, University of Split School of Medicine and Josip-Juraj-Strossmayer-Universität Osijek Faculty of Medicine, as well as other faculties of the University of Zagreb – the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Faculty of Economics and Business and Faculty of Croatian Studies; Ministry of Health, Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.

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Connecting Social and Urban Studies with Health and Well-being of Communities – Speech at the National University of Colombia in Manizales

On January 29th 2020 NeuroLandscape’s Board Member Dr. Diana Benjumea was invited to give a talk in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia to the staff and students of the Department of Architecture and Built Environment in the city of Manizales.

The talk aimed to share the multidisciplinary work that is conducted in NeuroLandscape with special attention to the new program  Nature Connection and Mental Health of the Communities launched last year.

The information included some of the preliminary study results obtained from the two main international research clusters in Medellin (Colombia) and Dhaka (Bangladesh). The presentation discussed the social and scientific research approaches that NeuroLandscape is leading in order to understand the contribution of nature in the mental health of low-income communities with the aim of informing new urban design models.  

Staff from the Universidad de Caldas Manizales and the National Training Service (SENA) joined in the discussion of creating possible cooperation between institutions and NeuroLanscape in order to consolidate future social and scientific projects in the city of Manizales that could contribute to the health and well-being of the communities in this city.

With combined efforts from the educational institutions and the scientific background of Neurolandscape, future projects are envisioned, in which a greater network of opportunities that include new research projects and transfer skills education programs could be established with the aim of benefiting low-income community residents.

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Pre-Conference Workshop, Urban Health, Xiamen, China

Date& Time: 5.11.2019, 9am
Location: School of Architecture and Civil Engineering (SACE 5), Xiamen University, #182 Da Xue Road,  Xiamen, China

With the growing interest among researchers, practitioners, and urban decision makers in the influence of the quality of the built environment on peoples’ health, there is increasing emphasis on using scientific knowledge to inform urban design, including methods of neuroscience. Current development of the
technology permits to study the brain response of people in-situ, using the wireless portable electroencephalography (EEG) devices.

Studies leveraging on the knowledge on the design theory, and affective neuroscience are part of emerging area of evidence-based design. It is of NeuroLandscape mission to advance the knowledge on this topic and promote use of rigorous scientific experimental designs in various contexts around the globe. This would allow replication of experiments while advancing the knowledge on causal relationships between the quality of living environments and mental health outcomes from the passive exposures to them.

We are hosting a 3 hour,  hands-on workshop

Application of neuroscience in urban planning and design. An introduction to the theory and practice of EEG experiment design, data collection, and analysis

Workshop program:
9:30 – Registration
9:45 – Introduction to EEG
10:00 – Experiments design in an urban context (theory + practical exercise)
11:00 – Equipment and data acquisition (theory + demo)
12:00 – Q&A session

The workshop is free of charge for the conference delegates. You can register here

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Where Government Listens to Scientists: Urban Sustainability R&D Congress, Singapore

Singapore is one of the most prominent examples of Urban Sustainability through new technologies, research and development. It is also one of the few countries where the government is actively supporting science and innovation in order to inform the practice of urban design and solve urban living issues. The Urban Sustainability R&D Congress is organized since 2011, biannually, and invites all R&D projects pursued by Government agencies, collaborating with local and international research institutions.

One of the keynote speakers, Dr Elsa Arcaute from UCL, a researcher of Cities as Complex Systems, when asked by a panel moderator, Dr Cheong Koon Hean  (CEO of Housing & Development Board) what advice does she have for Singapore, she answered to just continue what Singapore was already doing. She mentioned that she as a researcher is used to “begging” urban decision-makers to look at the results of her work. In Singapore, authorities are not only interested to hear researchers out but also keen to fund the applicable research.

Congress is a national platform for government agencies, research community and industries to come together to discuss R&D responses for urban solutions and sustainability. The exhibition is also a showcase of the most interesting solutions and research in progress. Everything is presented with typical to Singapore care to impress all the visitors.

Singapore has been striving to balance economic growth with a high quality of life and care for the environment. As a result, it has to deal with many challenges, including the growing burden of mental health disorders and the aging population. These challenges were recognized and addressed at the Congress through a “Greater Sustainability Track”,  which shared the benefits of adopting sustainable and biophilic design ideas, provide behavioural and technological insights to aid the creation of a high-quality living environment. On this track the preliminary study of Dr Agnieszka Olszewska-Guizzo, President of NeuroLandscape was presented, you can watch her speech on our youtube channel!

Photos: 1. Punggol Digital District https://www.jtc.gov.sg/industrial-land-and-space/Pages/punggol-digital-district.aspx , 2.& 3. A.O.G

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Maintenance of green in the city and health

Different initiatives undertaken by the urban authorities can contribute to the improvement of urban dweller’s contact with nature and the nature exposure

These include:

  1. Leaving unmowed areas in the urban green spaces, for developing a small ecosystems for flora & fauna, (urban meadows)
  2. Promoting the spontaneous habitat creation
  3. Leaving the fallen leaves on the ground for the winter (improves conditions of the soil)

These actions, (or rather withdrawing from action) not only improve the urban ecosystems functioning, but also can save some money in the local budget. Most importantly however from our point of view, they improve the sense of connectedness of people with urban nature, by making the changing seasons noticeable, and more pronounced, enabling the observation of the life phases of the plant and ultimately contemplation of the continuous life cycles.

These three postulate  were included in an open letter to the Major of Warsaw, Poland by the local community and proffessionals, and will contribute to the  Greenery Council (Zarzad Zieleni) activities, (see the campaign here ).  Because of the postulates are strongly aligned with the NeuroLandscape’s vision of the city, we support this action, and look forward to positive changes on city lawns!

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April – the World Landscape Architecture Month by ASLA

When I went to my first scientific conference, as a PhD candidate, I was surprised that the main topic of the post-conference discussion was about “what is the landscape architecture?”. For more than 1 hour landscape architects (teachers, academics, and proffessionals) were discussing vividly about what it is that what they do.

I found it funny then… but the more I studied and developed in the area the more I understood that the answer to that question is not so straight forward. To me landscape architecture was the only study discipline, which would join my technical, scientific, artistic and environmental interests. Later it turned out that it can be much more than a job. Today, with my NeuroLandscape NGO I know the landscape architecture can literally change people’s life.

Here’s a little tribute to that beautiful yet neglected discipline. Let’s celebrate the month of Landscape Architecture!

“Landscape Architecture is a profession that is unknown or misunderstood as gardening by many. Its value to society is greater than many can imagine and should be celebrated by the population of every town, city, and country….”

What is landscape architecture?