Terry Hartig, Professor of Envionmental Psychology

Portrait of Terry Hartig.
Photo: David Naylor

Terry Hartig is Professor of Environmental Psychology at the Department of Psychology and at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research.

Which is your field of research?
“My research focuses primarily on how environments support psychological restoration, a key aspect of human adaptation to the environment, and in turn how restoration mediates relations between environment and health. I study how restoration is supported or hindered in residential, work, institutional and leisure contexts.”

In which way do you work work with sustainability?
“Opportunities for restoration and access to environments that support restoration are important to the psychological and social sustainability of our living environments. The restorative quality of environments is therefore a suitable target for measures that intend to promote sustainability.”

Do you work together with other parts of the University today?
“Together with Per Lindberg and Freddie Lymeus at the Department of Psychology, I have a long-running cooperation with the Linnaean Gardens for research that uses the botanical gardens as a setting for psychological research on the experience of nature. We are now trying to bring in colleagues from other departments, including  Cultural Anthropology and Ethnography, Education, and Information Technology.”

What progress have you made recently?
“Much is being done now to reinstate ecological processes in urban areas in ways that are relevant for functions like heating and cooling, and water and waste management. The opportunities these interventions also provide for aesthetic and restorative experiences of residents are commonly referred to as co-benefits that further justify the interventions. In this latter regard I contributed to a research and innovation policy being implemented by the European Commission through its funding frameworks.”

Which do you think are the main future challenges in your field?
“To provide good residential quality for growing urban populations while reducing human impacts on the natural environment and promoting a rethinking of human-nature relations.”

Which cooperations and initiatives would you like to see in the future?
“Locally, I would like to see the further development of the collaboration around the Linnaean Botanical Gardens. Those of us in the Linnaean Collaboration see the gardens as a living laboratory for the study of nature experience and sustainability education in a context of urban growth and densification. This fits more generally with Uppsala University’s movement toward an urban sustainability initiative.”

Karl Åstrand