Looking back at some beautiful days at ICEP in Aarhus and with a lot of work done in the now ending academic year, many of you are either taking a well deserved summer break, or will be taking one soon. In this newsletter, we look back at ICEP, share a selection of new publications and other news, and of course have a new spotlight member.

We wish you a very good summer!

ICEP 2023 in Aarhus

At ICEP we met many of you, either already while traveling, at the welcome drinks in Aarhus city hall, during the conference sessions or our two symposia specifically, in lunch time, poster sessions, our REN social gathering on the Wednesday, or the conference dinner on Thursday. Some people even met at the midsummernight festivities after the closing ceremony of the conference. Below a few photos to bring back some memories.

We look back at two successful and well attended symposia, one of restorative environments and the other on environment and mental health. A special thank you to our presenters!

Upcoming conferences

We will keep you updated on possible symposia we will organize there.

REN forum

In November and February we had our online REN forums, with people joining from all over the world. We intend to keep organizing these twice of three time a year.

The REN forum aims to be somewhere where REN members and other interested academics can pose issues related to restorative environments scholarship that they are working through and receive help and support from the rest of the network. Alongside this, there will be opportunities to discuss collaborations and how we can all stay in touch. A REN forum lasts an hour and is scheduled a couple of times a year with different timings to be inclusive of people’s varying time zones.

The next forum is planned for some time in the last quartile of 2023.


Collaborations & activities

  • Message from Dr. Anna Bornioli, University of Surrey:

“I have just joined the University of Surrey’s Environmental Psychology Research Group to work on a research fellowship on gender-specific restorative experiences in urban environments. The aim is to look at female well-being experiences and needs in urban and natural places in the city and understand if restorative processes can be gender-specific. If you are interested in collaborating or would like to know more, I’d love to hear from you at a.bornioli@surrey.ac.uk

  • Message from Dr. Daniel McKay, St Andrews University:

IAPS ECR Talk: “One way to a PhD: News from the frontline”

“I’m excited to extend a warm invitation to all of you for an upcoming talk that promises to be both enlightening and inspiring. On Friday, 28th July, at 3 pm BST, we have the pleasure of hosting Gabriel Villegas, who will be sharing his incredible journey in a captivating presentation titled: “One Way to a PhD: News from the Frontline.”

Gabriel is an esteemed expert in the field of *smart cities*, currently pursuing his doctoral program in smart economic models for urban redevelopment at *the* University of Applied Sciences of Stuttgart (FT). He is not only passionate about his research but also a true enthusiast in environmental psychology * (and, relatively unrelated, beekeeping)*, making his perspective all the more unique.

The focus of his talk will be on the international master’s program, Smart City Solutions, *and how he is paving his way* towards a successful PhD journey. This talk is specially tailored for early researchers, those who are still on their path to a PhD, and individuals seeking guidance without established connections or funding.
Drawing from his personal experiences and challenges, Gabriel will share invaluable insights on the essential factors to consider in the pursuit of a doctorate, making this an unmissable opportunity for all aspiring researchers.

We sincerely hope you can join us for this remarkable event that promises to broaden your horizons and provide valuable guidance on your academic journey. The talk will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend or who would like to rewatch.

Date: Friday, 28th July
Time: 3:00 pm BST
Speaker: Gabriel Villegas
Joining Link will be circulated shortly”


If you would like an upcoming call, activity, collaboration opportunity, conference or symposium shared on Twitter, or in the next newsletter, please email us. Of course, you can also share it in the Slack channel.

To celebrate

On 9 June, Robert van Dongen successfully defended his PhD-thesis “Restorative value of the urban greenscape: Urban residential streets as restorative environments”

New Publications (by Members)

  • Barbiero, G., Berto, R., Senes, G., Fumagalli, N. (2023). Wilderness is the prototype of Nature regardless of the individual’s connection to Nature. An empirical verification of the solastalgia effect. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20, 6354. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20146354


  • Camacho-Guzmán, A., Ávila Akerberg, V. D., Martínez-Soto, J., Rodríguez-Soto, C., & Reyes, R. P. R. (2023). Connectedness to Nature, Well-Being and Presence of Birds. Fronteiras: Journal of Social, Technological and Environmental Science, 12(1), 248-264. https://doi.org/10.21664/2238-8869.2023v12i1.p248-264


  • Dai, X., & Tang, S. (2023). Folk festivals as restorative environments based on attention restoration theory: The roles of liminal experience and timing. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 1957-1973. https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S411960


  • Dzhambov, A. M., Lercher, P., Vincens, N., Waye, K. P., Klatte, M., Leist, L., … & van Kamp, I. (2023). Protective effect of restorative possibilities on cognitive function and mental health in children and adolescents: A scoping review including the role of physical activity. Environmental Research, 116452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2023.116452


  • Elliott, L. R., Pasanen, T., White, M. P., Wheeler, B. W., Grellier, J., Cirach, M., Bratman, G. N., van den Bosch, M., Roiko, A., Ojala, A., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., & Fleming, L. E. (2023). Nature contact and general health: Testing multiple serial mediation pathways with data from adults in 18 countries. Environment International, 178, 108077. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2023.108077


  • Fian, L., White, M. P., Thaler, T., Arnberger, A., Elliott, L. R., & Friesenecker, M. (2023). Inequalities in residential nature and nature-based recreation are not universal: A country-level analysis in Austria. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 85, 127977. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2023.127977


  • Horan, K.A., Harrington, M., LeNoble, C.A., Mosher, M., Pring, T. (2023). Using virtual reality to bring restorative environments to employees: An online pilot study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health20, 5797. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20105797


  • Pasanen, T. P., White, M. P., Elliott, L. R., van den Bosch, M., Bratman, G. N., Ojala, A., Korpela, K., & Fleming, L. E. (2023). Urban green space and mental health among people living alone: The mediating roles of relational and collective restoration in an 18-country sample. Environmental Research, 232, 116324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2023.116324


  • Sezavar, N., Pazhouhanfar, M., Van Dongen, R. P., Grahn, P. (2023). The importance of designing the spatial distribution and density of vegetation in urban parks for increased experience of safety. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136768. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.136768


  • Syed Othman Thani, S. K., Hussein, H., & Siew Cheok, N. (2023). Landscape attributes as stimuli for cognitive restoration in the outdoor environment: A systematic review and thematic analysis. Journal of Leisure Research, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2023.2225058

If you have recently published and would like this communicated in the next newsletter, please email us. We also keep track of these (and other interesting) publications in our own Mendeley Library. If you’d like to access this library, please send an e-mail and we will add you to the library member list. Currently, there is a maximum of 100 library members.

Also let us know if you would like any project summaries shared in our next newsletter.

Member Spotlight

The photo accompanying this newsletter is supplied by Yasushi Suko, Tampere University (Finland). He writes:

“I am a Ph.D. student at Tampere University, Finland, and my research topic is the restorative effects of listening to natural sounds indoors. I am especially interested in how we can utilize restorative natural sounds to improve moods and/or alleviate the psychological stress of those who work in a stressful indoor environment. We have already published an article on a pilot study targeting surgeons. In the future, I would like to start new research involving other professionals, such as air traffic controllers or submarine crews.

The photo I selected depicts the sunset at Näsijärvi Lake in Tampere, Finland. This lakeshore is one of my favorite places in the city. I feel this place represents a calm and restorative blue space.”

Let us know if you would also like to be in our newsletter-spotlight at some point.

Looking ahead

  • Newsletter                   October 2023
  • REN forum                  Quartile 4, 2023
  • Newsletter                   February 2024
  • REN forum                  Quartile 1, 2024
  • IAPS conference         2 – 5 July 2024

Contact iapsREN

You can contact the iapsREN Convening Committee via the following emails:

Do share your favourite photos with us, and have them and you featured in future newsletters and on the website. Send photos to REN_convenors@iaps-association.org. Please let us know if you have any related publications, conferences, PhD successes or jobs to advertise in the next newsletter and/or on the website. Keep a close eye on the website and Twitter as this will display the most up to date information, including vacancies that arise in-between newsletters.