Campus News

University of Virginia professor to give annual Ferguson Lecture Feb. 16

The College of Environment and Design’s annual Vincent Eleanor Ferguson Lecture will be held Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. in lecture hall 123 of the Jackson Street Building.

Open free to the public, the lecture “Cities, Nature and Health: How Can Biophilic Design Build Human Well-being?” will be given by Jenny Roe, professor of design and health at the University of Virginia. An environmental psychologist and former landscape architect, Roe also is the director of the Center of Design and Health at the School of Architecture at Virginia. She has expertise in how the design of the built environment can maximize human flourishing.

Biophilia refers to human tendencies to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Roe’s presentation will explore how biophilic design at a city-wide level can generate positive health and well-being.

Before Roe’s move to the U.S. in 2015, she was the Leader in Human Well-being and Behavior Change for the Stockholm Environment Institute, a global think tank researching how to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities. Her research has pioneered methods for quantifying the health benefits of good urban design, using physiological indicators such as the stress hormone cortisol and mobile electroencephalography (EEG) to explore emotional activity on the move in cities. Much of her research explores health inequities in economically disadvantaged communities, including racial/ethnic minorities, children and teenagers, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.