The Bartlett


Inclusive Spaces: Mental Health and Social Justice in the Urban Outdoors

11 May 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

TEXT: The Bartlett Inclusive Spaces

In Mental Health and Social Justice in the Urban Outdoors we explore the significance of accessible urban greenspaces in maintaining and improving our sense of wellbeing.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment

Join Dr Liza Griffin and Kay Pallaris as they share insights into how park users derive wellbeing from greenspaces; the crucial role these can play for people’s mental health; and the lived experiences of disadvantaged and minority groups who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

During periods of lockdown, people used a range of greenspaces to meet their wellbeing needs. Urban park spaces and other green areas became vital community places: for exercise, solace, social care, identity-making and belonging. They played an invaluable role in supporting the diverse needs of individuals and groups.  

However, greenspace users still face numerous intersectional, gendered and racialised barriers and challenges relating to disabilities that prohibit their engagement with these areas.

Hosted by The Bartlett Sschool of Architecture's Maxwell Mutanda, this session we will explore how we can create more accessible urban greenspaces, and how more opportunities for greenspaces can be created or appropriated by communities to meet their own specific needs, in their own ways. 

Led by The Bartlett Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) group, the Inclusive Spaces monthly series presents the latest research and ideas from The Bartlett’s world-leading thinkers on race, gender, LGBTQ+, and disability – and other dimensions of diversity in the built environment. 

About the Speakers

Dr Liza Griffin

Lecturer in Environmental Politics at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Liza Griffin is a Lecturer in Environmental Politics at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL. Her research lies within the field of human geography, but her work spans health, spatial politics and development studies more broadly.

More about Dr Liza Griffin

Kay Pallaris

Director at Mapping Futures

Kay Pallaris is a Strategic Environmental Planner whose work has included many facets of sustainable development planning and urban regeneration working at the interface of spatial research, policy and practice. Her work has involved planning policy, community development, participatory mapping, green infrastructure and nature recovery, and spatial research, particularly looking at place and health links.

As a Chartered Geographer Kay’s work has a strong focus on the applied use of geographic data and spatial research to inform masterplans, policies and urban design strategies. Recently she has been involved in creating and enhancing two community gardens - Crofton Park Railway Garden and the Ringway Woodland Gardens.

More about Kay Pallaris

Maxwell Mutanda

Lecturer in Environmental and Spatial Equity at The Bartlett School of Architecture

Maxwell Mutanda is a Lecturer in Environmental and Spatial Equity, and Co-Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. His work focuses on colonised, re-colonised and postcolonial urbanism, particularly informal systems and non-standard labour geographies in sub-Saharan Africa, namely Zimbabwe and South Africa.

More about Maxwell Mutanda