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panaromic view of some trees and welcome to openspace message

OPENspace is an international research centre contributing new evidence on why inclusive access to the outdoors matters.


A collaborative, multi-disciplinary team based in Edinburgh, we bring together experts in landscape architecture, environmental psychology, human geography, forestry, quality of life measures and design for all ages and abilities.

Addressing the full spectrum of open space environments - from city parks and squares to remote rural landscapes - our work cuts across a number of policy areas, including health and wellbeing, social inclusion, countryside access and sustainable urban renaissance.

We focus on the benefits to be gained from getting outdoors and the barriers currently experienced by different users, particularly those from disadvantaged groups.

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Catharine Ward Thompson speaking at the presentation of the I'DGO TOO research findings

Bursary opportunity. Devise and facilitate a knowledge exchange activity for our new Memory Friendly Neighbourhoods programme with Stirling University.
Deadline 28th April 2014.

Find out more about a new MSc in Cultural Landscapes at ECA organised by Dr Penny Travlou of OPENspace.

Book now for The Best years of our Lives? Body, Brain and Well-Being, a British Academy Debate in the Assembly Hall (Mound Place), Edinburgh, featuring Catharine Ward Thompson. Tuesday 29th April 2014 at 6pm. FREE but ticketed.​

Join us for a FREE public lecture by gerontologist, Dr Gloria Gutman, at 17:30 BST on Wednesday 30th April (Edinburgh). RSVP essential via OPENspace@ed.ac.uk


LEFT: Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, Director of OPENspace, speaking at the presentation of the I'DGO TOO research findings in Europe House, Westminster, on 26th April 2012.
Photo © Chris Hutty, CHP Press & PR Photography