Are you an aspiring researcher looking for a new opportunity in the field of climate-responsive and health-focused design? Would you like to join a friendly and open environment where you can develop your skills and acquire new knowledge? Then you have a part to play as a PhD candidate within the interdisciplinary research project 'BENIGN'!
In this project you will investigate how 'blue' and 'green' built environment characteristics influence health effects and produce ecosystem (dis)services in times of heat stress. The impact of climate change on health is increasing particularly through heat stress, degrading water quality, and loss of urban biodiversity. Blue (e.g., lakes, canals) and green infrastructure (e.g., trees, parks) may significantly contribute to reduce the impacts of heat stress periods on urban populations and cool down the built environment. The 'BENIGN' project - BluE and greeN Infrastructure desiGned to beat the urbaN heat - aims to investigate how blue and green infrastructure can be employed in urban areas to create healthy living conditions. To do so, 3 living labs in Dutch municipalities will be set up. A key outcome of BENIGN will be a decision support system for municipalities to implement healthier built environments.
We are looking for a PhD candidate with experience in climate-responsive and salutogenic (health-focused) design. The envisioned PhD research should develop practical guidelines for climate-responsive and salutogenic spatial design interventions. These interventions will focus on urban blue-green infrastructure applied at the interface of indoor and outdoor spaces, and at the micro- and neighbourhood scales. The research will a follow a Research Through Design (RTD) process, alternating design and testing stages focused on specific indicators and employing quantitative and qualitative methods.
Core tasks may include: (1) the development of spatial design solutions for urban blue-green infrastructure applied at the interface of indoor and outdoor spaces, and at the micro- and neighbourhood scales; (2) the testing of these solutions on their cooling effects, using meteorological modelling (e.g. ENVI-met); (3) the testing of these solutions on water quality and urban biodiversity indicators; (4) the testing of these solutions on mental, physical and social health indicators during participatory living labs; (5) the development of visual design guidelines based on the optimised solutions resulting from the RTD process, and their communication across scientific and professional resources.
We are searching for a PhD candidate who has an affinity with the topics described above; the necessary experience in working with CAD in 2D and 3D, with microclimate modelling software, with visualisation software; and has an interest and/or experience in participatory and qualitative methods.
This research is embedded within the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
group, and the PhD researcher will join the Landscape Architecture team, which is led by Prof. Sanda Lenzholzer
. You will be co-supervised by Dr.ir Agnès Patuano and Dr. João Cortesão.
Within the BENIGN project you will work closely together with a large consortium of 5 PhD candidates and 2 postdocs, gathering members of different parts of the knowledge chain: fundamental (Radboud University, Radboudumc, Wageningen University, Naturalis, Free University, Donders Institute), applied (Deltares), practice-oriented and civil society organizations.