Jenny Roe



School of the Built Environment, Heriot Watt University UK, PhD; University of Greenwich UK, PG Diploma in Landscape Architecture; University of Nottingham UK, BA (Joint Hons) English and American Studies


Jenny Roe is Professor and Director of the Center for Design & Health in the School of Architecture, University of Virginia. An environmental psychologist and former head of Landscape Architecture for an international architectural practice, she writes, lectures, and consults for a wide range of academic and public audiences on human health-centered design for the built environment. Her book on this subject, Restorative Cities: Urban Design for Mental Health and Wellbeing (Roe and McCay, 2021) explores a new way of designing cities that puts mental health at the forefront. Her forthcoming book continues this theme by exploring the ‘Infrastructure of Happiness’ (Mahmoudi, Roe & Seaman, Routledge, 2022)

Roe has won numerous awards and research grants exploring a rich variety of architectural and landscape contexts and their psychological impact on people.  Her scholarly outputs include over fifty-five peer review publications including for the World Health Organization and the Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal. She acts as expert advisor to the UK’s Design Council and advises various community organizations and foundations on strategies for promoting and implementing health-centered design.  She serves as a mentor and coach to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Scholars Program.

She is former Senior Research Leader in Human Wellbeing and Behavior Change for the Stockholm Environment Institute where she worked with environmental scientists and health professionals to find solutions to build sustainable, resilient and healthy cities across the globe. Prior to academia, she was Principal Landscape Architect in a multi-disciplinary architectural practice in London called Sprunt specializing in social housing, educational and healthcare design.

Professor Roe offers two courses:

PLAN 5452/ LAR 5452 Healthy Cities, offered in the Spring semester, exploring how urban planning can connect with public health practice, what constitutes a healthy city, how we measure it, and drawing on her book, ‘Restorative Cities’ as a guiding framework.

PLAN 5892 Environment, Space and Psychology, offered in the Fall semester, exploring the principles of environmental psychology, how our world shapes who we are, and how we can leverage design to create sustainable, healthier behaviors.


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