Special Issue: Place, Space, and Mental Health

Global megatrends, including climate change and urbanisation, are shaping and changing how we live in the future. Multiple aspects of our living conditions—environmental and societal—are subject to change regardless of where we live. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly placed us in an unexpected new situation that dramatically affected our daily lives. These changes have had and will continue to have an effect on our mental health and well-being [1,2]. With the global increase in mental health issues, deeper understanding of how place and space affect our mental health is therefore urgently needed.

This Special Issue, “Place, Space, and Mental Health”, called for contributions dealing with the various ways in which human mental health is affected by its physical surroundings. We were particularly interested in innovative research methodologies addressed at tackling topical issues regarding the role of place and space for mental health. The seven included papers all provide new knowledge on how mental health is affected by place and space at different scales, and, more broadly, how these processes can be considered in the urban planning of specific types of places and landscapes.

The included collection of articles is diverse in terms of topics, methodologies, and environmental domains. Three papers are related to environmental crises and the ways the environment can help us cope when faced with unusual situations. Regarding the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Bernat et al. [3] assessed students in Lubin, Poland and found that recreational areas, especially those with nature, scenic views, and therapeutic values, gained importance among students during the pandemic. Scrima et al. [4] examined the perspective of employees in a COVID-19 vaccination centre and found that their appreciation of art at the workplace was associated with less work-related exhaustion. Chan et al. [5] examined dilemmas over relocation after a natural disaster, flash flooding, in Ellicott City, USA. Their study showed how leaving one’s home after a crisis is a complex dilemma involving communal, historical, environmental, emotional, and economical considerations.

Four papers focus on the connections between mental health and everyday places and spaces. Swahn et al. [6] presented views from …


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