Anna Brückner

Research themes
  • Governance
  • Water resources (management)
  • Health
Research countries
  • Germany
  • India
Thesis title

Blue health for all? Investigating urban blue spaces as potentially therapeutic landscapes for elderly people in deprived communities. Learning from cases in Ruhr and Ahmedabad Metropolis

Thesis abstract

This PhD study investigates the linkages between urban surface waters ("urban blue spaces") and the health of elderly people. Research in last decades has shown that exposure to such spaces has beneficial effects on people's physical, social and mental wellbeing. In addition, blue spaces can improve the quality of life in cities, e.g. by mitigating environmental stressors such as air, light and noise pollution. However, little is known on the blue space-health relationship of different social groups and how their demands and needs are met by current planning approaches to urban blue spaces. This applies as well to elderly people, despite their sharply rising share of the world population and the need to create living environments that promote "healthy ageing", i.e. “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age" (WHO, 2015). By conducting a multiple case study (Germany, India) that employs the participatory action-based research (PAR) methodology of photovoice, this PhD work aims to derive recommendations for urban planning and policy on how to create health-enabling blue spaces that are inclusive for elderly citizens.


Brueckner, A.; Falkenberg, T.; Heinzel, C.; Kistemann, T..  2022.  The regeneration of urban blue spaces: A public health intervention? Reviewing the evidence.  Frontiers in Public Health, . (Open Access)   Further Information


Brueckner, A., T. Falkenberg, U. Kasturirangan, T. Kistemann.  2021.  Photovoice for enhanced healthy blue space research: an example of use from urban India.  Cities & Health, . Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
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Junior Researcher One Health



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