List of contributors
in Rural quality of life

List of contributors

David Beel is senior lecturer in political economy at Manchester Metropolitan University where he is part of the Future Economies Research Cluster. He has published on a variety of topics, including: the positioning of museums in urban regeneration strategies; the influence of digital technology on the production of community heritage, with specific focus on rural communities; and on matters related to the restructuring of economic space at the sub-national scale.

Nils Björling is an architect, PhD and senior lecturer in urban planning and design at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden. Björling focuses on the dynamics between architecture, urban design and local, municipal and regional planning to analyse spatial transformation and counteract uneven geographical development. The research focus is to develop theory and methods for community-based planning and architecture that can increase the space of manoeuvre for different places to contribute with their resources and knowledge towards a more sustainable societal development.

Giorgio Tavano Blessi, PhD, is a researcher in urban and environmental sociology at the IULM University, Milan (Italy). His research interests are related to cultural management, urban and environmental well-being, culture and individual well-being.

Hannah Brooking holds a PhD from the University of Leicester in geography and computer science, where she worked as a post-doctoral research assistant on the International Rural Gentrification (iRGENT) project. She currently works in the third sector, conducting military-related research on issues of problem gambling, well-being and barriers to help-seeking.

Michael Carolan is a professor of sociology and associate dean of research and faculty development for the College of Liberal Arts, Colorado State University. His published research, which includes more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, covers topics related to sustainability, food and agricultural policy, rural development and socio-cultural divides.

Melanie Charity is a senior research assistant at Federation University, Sydney. Her responsibilities include data management, statistical analysis and reporting. She also has a background in public health, both in research and health information contexts.

Juaneé Cilliers is the head of the School of Built Environment and professor of urban planning at the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia). She is currently appointed as Extraordinary Professor of Planning at the North-West University (South Africa). Juaneé is the chair of the Women in Planning Network of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and advisor to the board of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). She is the inaugural curator of the ISOCARP Cyber Agora.

Kathryn Colley, PhD, is an environmental psychologist in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute, UK. Her work uses mixed-method and interdisciplinary approaches to understand people’s interactions with their everyday home, work and leisure environments and how these shape behaviour and well-being

Maria Christina Crouch, PhD (Deg Hit’an and Coahuiltecan), is a clinical-community psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Her programme of research is focused on the intersection of trauma-informed care, evidence-based practices and practice-based evidence (Indigenous approaches) to address alcohol and drug issues, trauma and related health impacts of social determinants among American Indian and Alaska Native communities from a cultural, strengths-based approach.

Margaret (Mags) Currie, PhD, is a human geographer in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute, UK. Her research focuses on place-based resilience and well-being in rural communities. Methodologically, Mags is interested in qualitative and longitudinal approaches that are predominantly applied, policy-focused and co-produced.

Mara Duer holds a PhD from the University of Warwick in politics and international studies, and currently is a postdoctoral fellow of the Argentinian National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET) at the Institute of Geography, University of Buenos Aires, as well as a lecturer at the University of Jose C. Paz in Buenos Aires. Her research focuses on land conflicts and territorial displacement, exploring land relations of attachment and toxic relations with land in rural contexts.

Rochelle Eime, PhD, is professor of sports participation at Victoria University and Federation University, Australia. She is a behavioural epidemiologist, and her research investigates sports and recreation, facilities and health for evidence-based decision making. She has published over eighty peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Maja Farstad is a senior researcher at Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research. She holds a PhD in sociology from Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Farstad has studied various dimensions of rural welfare, and she is also responsible for Ruralis’s recurring national survey on local community issues.

Michael Fehsenfeld has a background in anthropology, holds a PhD and is assistant professor in the Department of Public Health, Aarhus University. His research interests lie in the field of social inequality and vulnerable people. He has published on volunteering, co-production and social inclusion. He has also worked with vulnerable people in community settings.

Jens Kaae Fisker is a postdoctoral researcher at the Danish Centre for Rural Research, University of Southern Denmark. He holds a PhD degree in geography from the Department of Development and Planning at Aalborg University. He has been the lead editor on two international volumes on alternative urbanism published in 2019 with Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan respectively. Additionally, Jens recently coedited two special issues of the sociology journal Dansk Sociologi on the sociology of place and community. Jens is currently engaged in research projects on outdoor recreation and quality of life in the Danish countryside. With his cross-disciplinary outlook and field of expertise he works as a bridge builder between geography and sociology and between urban and rural studies.

Svein Frisvoll is the director at Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research. Frisvoll has a PhD in geography from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Frisvoll has researched how rural municipalities meet challenging national welfare reforms and structural reforms from the perspectives of rural space and regional geography.

Nick Gallent is professor of housing and planning at University College London (UCL), where he’s worked since 1999. His research is mainly focused on housing and planning systems and processes, but often links across to community engagement with planning, and regularly looks at rural communities and places. He has published a number of books on these topics, the most recent being the Routledge Companion to Rural Planning, edited with Mark Scott and Menelaos Gkartzios in 2019, and Rural Places and Planning, co-authored with the same colleagues and published by Policy Press in 2022.

Menini Gibbens is a postdoctoral fellow at the Northwest University (Potchefstroom, South Africa). She has twenty years’ experience as a professional planner, with professional registration from the South African Council for Planners. She completed her urban and regional planning degree (B. Art et Sc (Urban and Regional Planning)) in 1998 at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) cum laude, master’s degree (MSc, Urban and Regional Planning) in 2009 at the University of Pretoria (UP) and PhD (Urban and Regional Planning) in 2016 at the Northwest University (NWU).

Enzo Grossi, MD, is scientific advisor at the National Technological Cluster ALISEI Advanced Life Sciences in Italy and scientific director at ‘Villa Santa Maria’ Institute for neurodevelopmental diseases. He has extensively published in the field of culture and health and artificial intelligence in medicine. He is adjunct professor at the universities of Turin and Milan.

Jack Harvey is an applied statistician working in research teams in the fields of sports participation, sports sciences, health and biomedical sciences and behavioural and social sciences, and in the evaluation of programmes and interventions, particularly in the contexts of sports and physical activity, health promotion and health services.

Bjarne Ibsen is professor and holds a PhD in social and political science at the Centre for Research in Sport, Health and Civil Society at the University of Southern Denmark. He is researching in both ‘social movements’ (associations, voluntary work, etc.) and ‘physical movements’ (including movement habits and sports policy).

Evald Bundgård Iversen is associate professor in sports management and sports policy at the University of Southern Denmark. Evald holds a PhD and MA from the University of Southern Denmark. Before entering the academic world, Evald was a bureaucrat in a municipality in a rural area and dealt with how local communities could be supported in developing sustainable solutions with regards to facilities such as, for example, sports halls and fitness centres. Evald is a part of the Centre for Health, Sport and Civil Society (CISC) at the University of Southern Denmark. The centre has extensive expertise in research in civil society, with a particular focus on associations and voluntary organisations. Recently, Evald has been responsible for a part of a research project on co-production between municipalities and civil society.

Katherine (Kate) Irvine, PhD, is a conservation behaviour/environmental psychologist in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department, James Hutton Institute, UK. Her transdisciplinary, mixed-method research focuses on the people–nature/biodiversity relationship for well-being and sustainable behaviour, and the evaluation of nature-based health-promoting interventions such as group outdoor health walks.

Pia Heike Johansen is associate professor in rural sociology at the Danish Centre for Rural Research, University of Southern Denmark. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Southern Denmark. Before taking up an academic career, Pia was director of a landscape gardening firm and organic farm in the Danish countryside. In recent years, she has acted as project leader and/or coordinator on a range of groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary research projects, including the ongoing Realdania project on quality of life in the Danish countryside. Her area of research and expertise revolve around rural–urban relations grounded in the study of everyday life and its political conditions. She has recently guest-edited two special issues of Dansk Sociologi [Danish Sociology] on the sociology of place and community.

Gertrud Jørgensen is professor of spatial planning at the University of Copenhagen. She works with a broad variety of planning issues, including urban transformation, sustainable urban development, urban liveability, peri-urban development and strategic planning in rural areas. Her research interest lies in the relation between planning tools, processes and planning outcomes in terms of spatial quality, sustainability and liveable environments.

Jordan P. Lewis, PhD (Aleut, Native Village of Naknek), is the associate director of the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team and professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. His expertise is in Indigenous successful ageing, generativity and healthy ageing and cultural constructions of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. He developed the concept of Indigenous cultural generativity and the role of cultural practices and generativity in dementia caregiver health and well-being.

Jill M. Loga is a professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. She holds a PhD in political science and has been affiliated with and former coordinator of the Centre for Research on Civil Society and the Voluntary Sector in Norway. Her main research interests include civic engagement, marginal positions, social entrepreneurship and the roles of civil society in the welfare state.

Henrik Lolle, is Associate Professor in the Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has extensive research experience within quantitative approaches to happiness, subjective well-being, and quality-of-life studies. As an expert on quantitative methodologies, Henrik has worked with a variety of welfare-oriented fields of research. Most notably, this includes issues around social trust in the context of demographically diversifying societies and in education. Has has also worked on service delivery in the welfare state, especially regarding services for the elderly. Within quality-of-life studies, Henrik has made important contributions towards advancing more robust methodological approaches, in particular by addressing the problems that arise in translating survey questions between different national contexts. Henrik has previously co-edited the book Bag kulissen i konstruktionen af kvalitet [Behind the scenes in the construction of quality] about the pitfalls and opportunities associated with measuring the quality of public services.

Rolf Lyneborg Lund, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Aalborg University, Denmark. He works in the field of geographical sociology, with a special interest in combining spatial modelling with machine learning and unstructured, massive data sets. Rolf has done research in, among other things, how to use satellite data and image recognition in combination with register data.

Anders Melås is a researcher at Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research. Melås is a political scientist and has a MSc from Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Melås has studied rural youths’ reflections about their local community and rural life, in addition to his agricultural policies and practices research.

Jan Ott studied sociology and law and specialised in social economic policy, constitutional law and public administration. Nowadays he works as a social researcher at the World Database of Happiness. In 2020 he finished his book Beyond Economics; Happiness as a Standard in our Personal Life and in Politics (Palgrave Macmillan).

Marta Pasqualini is assistant professor in demography at the University of Rome La Sapienza (Italy), associate researcher at the Observatoire sociologique du changement (OSC), Paris (France) and member of the Research Center for Inner Areas, University of Molise (Italy). Marta’s research interest is concentrated on inter/intra generational relationships and on social determinants of health, behaviours and well-being within a life-course approach.

Martin Phillips is professor of human geography at the University of Leicester. His research interests include the study of rural gentrification, representations of and affective relations with rurality, rural energy geographies and attitudes and actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He is currently a member of the Programme Coordination Team of the UKRI’s Landscape Decision Programme.

Meng Qu, PhD, is an assistant professor at Hiroshima University and co-convener at the Small Island Cultures Research Initiative. His research draws from creative and tourism geography. He is interested in creative initiatives for revitalising communities in peripheral areas and aims at developing an interdisciplinary nexus on rural revitalisation strategies.

Mark Scott is professor of planning and dean in the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, University College Dublin. His research is focused on environmental planning and sustainability, including rural planning, land-use governance and climate adaptation. Mark is an editor for the international journal Planning Theory & Practice, and is also on the editorial board of Town Planning Review.

Darren Smith is professor of geography at Loughborough University, UK, and visiting professor at Hunan University, China. His research interests focus on the intersections between social change and population, rural, urban and migration studies. Current projects include studies of rural gentrification and studentification. He is also currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Rural Studies, the Geographical Journal and Population, Space and Place.

Kjersti Tandberg is a PhD candidate at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and holds a master’s degree in social anthropology. Her PhD project is part of the doctoral programme Responsible Innovation and Regional Development and explores a voluntary organisation called Neighbourhood Mothers as a social innovation in regional contexts.

Anne Tietjen is an architect and associate professor at the Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Copenhagen. She works with urban and rural transformation through spatial design, focusing on the politics and agency of design and situated within the growing body of work on relational spatial design and planning theory. She has carried out extensive research on strategic rural planning in Denmark and the Nordic countries and is leading the sub-project Innovation in the Built Environment within the ongoing Realdania project on quality of life in the Danish countryside. Her editorial experience includes special issues of the Journal of Landscape Research (2021), the Nordic Journal of Architectural Research (vol. 29, 2017) and an edited volume on the free town of Christiania as cultural heritage (2007). Anne’s work bridges theory and practice at the intersection of landscape architecture, urban design and planning. She is an established expert in design-based research in this field, drawing on twelve years’ international experience of architecture practice.

Ruut Veenhoven is a sociologist and emeritus professor of social conditions for human happiness at Erasmus University, Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He is a founding editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies and director of the World Database of Happiness.

Federica Viganò, PhD, is a researcher in economic sociology at the University of Bolzano (Italy). Her research interests are related to welfare changes and social policies, well-being and territorial divides, cultural and creative industries and foundational economy.

Nivré Claire Wagner is a student at Faculté des Sciences Économiques et de Gestion, Université de Strasbourg in France. She did a research internship at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, during which she worked on this paper.

Claire Wallace is professor of sociology at the University of Aberdeen. She has been researching quality of life issues for many years both cross-nationally and in Scotland. Some of this work is summarised in her book The Decent Society. Planning for Social Quality, published by Routledge in 2016.

Meiqin Wang received a doctorate degree in art history from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is currently a professor in the Art Department at California State University, Northridge. She researches contemporary art from China in the context of commercialisation, globalisation and urbanisation of the Chinese world and has written on topics such as artist villages, creative cultural industries, art and urbanisation, and socially engaged art.

Hans Westerbeek, PhD, is professor of international sports business and head of sports business insights at Victoria University, Melbourne. He holds professorial appointments in Brussels, Beijing and Madrid. He (co)authored more than twenty-five books in sports business/management, is a frequent media commentator and writes a sports business blog.

Simona Zollet, PhD, is an assistant professor at Hiroshima University and a USASBE rural entrepreneurship research fellow. Her research examines sustainability transitions in agri-food systems and rural communities through agroecological farming and alternative rural lifestyles. She is also exploring the possible contours of post-growth societies founded on well-being economics.

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