Transformed urban wasteland contributes to public health: a new Landscape Institute film demonstrates the benefits of creating healthy places


    Following its recent report Public Health and Landscape – creating healthy places which identified the five principles of a healthy place and linked good-quality landscapes to improved public health, the Landscape Institute has released a new film demonstrating the impact healthy landscapes can have on well-being and health. Focused on the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in East London – a thriving community garden in an area where public green space is severely lacking – the film demonstrates the health and social benefits the garden has brought to the local community. It is one of a series of films the Landscape Institute intends to release on healthy landscapes, and can be viewed by visiting You Tube.

    The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, created by landscape architects J+L Gibbons, with muf art/architecture and Exyzt, is a flexible and popular space for people of all ages and backgrounds developed on a small piece of derelict railway land. Transformed from unloved wasteland it now includes wildlife-friendly planting, a spacious wooden garden pavilion and raised beds for growing vegetables and herbs. The garden provides a quiet green space – a place that brings people from the community together with opportunities for creativity and connecting with nature – all vital to their wellbeing. It exemplifies principle three of the five principles of a healthy place – a place where people feel comfortable and at ease, fostering social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour, isolation and stress.

    The five principles of a healthy place, as identified in the Landscape Institute’s Public Health and Landscape report, are:

    1. Healthy places improve air, water and soil quality, incorporating measures that help us to, and where possible, mitigate, climate change

    2. Healthy places help overcome health inequalities and can promote healthy lifestyles

    3. Healthy places make people feel comfortable and at ease, increasing social interaction and reducing anti-social behaviour, isolation and stress

    4. Healthy places optimise opportunities for working, learning and development

    5. Healthy places are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions Speaking about the Garden, Marie Murray, manager said: “I think one of the most important functions of this space is around people getting together, and the health that brings to a community.” 

    Speaking about creating the Garden, Johanna Gibbons of J+L Gibbons said: “There’s very little access to open space here so we felt it was a very important location, and if we dealt with it gently it could offer something very unique in the area.”

    Speaking about the report Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute, said: “There is growing evidence to suggest that spending on health care could be reduced if greater investment was made in preventing ill health before it has a chance to occur. Investing in our landscapes can play a crucial role in preventing ill health and reducing health inequalities.”

    The full report is available to read in full be visiting


    For further information please contact Sarah Harrison, on behalf of the Landscape Institute, on
    07768 372892 or email

    Notes to Editors:
    – The Landscape Institute (LI) is the royal chartered body for landscape architects. It represents professionals in the UK working across planning, design and the management of urban and rural landscape
    – The LI campaigns to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for public benefit
    – Through its advocacy programmes it champions landscape, and the landscape profession, in order to inspire great places where people want to live, work and visit
    – The Landscape Institute publishes a range of materials explaining the benefits of green
    infrastructure – visit
    – Visit for more information about the Landscape Institute and water
    – For information about other policy work, including Housing and Climate Change visit
    – Visit for more information or follow the LI on twitter: @talklandscape 


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