Health geography makes critical contributions to contemporary and emerging interdisciplinary agendas of nature-based health and health-enabling places. Couched in theory and critical empirical work on nature and health, this book addresses questions on the relationships between water, health and wellbeing. Water and blue space is a key focus in current health geography research and a new hydrophilic turn has emerged with a particular focus on the aspects of water which are affective, life-enhancing and health-enabling. Research considers the benefits and risks associated with blue space, from access to safe and clean water in the Global South, to health promoting spaces found around urban waters, to the deeper implications of climate change for water-based livelihoods and indigenous cultures. This book reflects recent theoretical debates within health geography, drawing from research in the public health, anthropology and psychology sectors. Broad thematic sections focus on interdisciplinary, experiential and equity-based elements of blue space, with individual chapters that consider indigenous and global health, water’s healing properties, leisure and blue yogic culture, coastal landscapes, surfing, swimming and sailing, along with more contested hydrophobic dimensions.
The interdisciplinary lens means this book will be extremely valuable to human geographers and cultural geographers. It will also appeal to practitioners and researchers interested in environmental health, leisure and tourism, health inequalities and public health more broadly.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction PART I Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Water & Health 2. The Meaning of Water to Health: antipodean perspectives on the ‘substance of life’ 3. Keeping Leisure in mind: The intervening role of Leisure in the Blue Space - Health nexus 4. Sailing, health and well-being: a thalassographic perspective 5. To the waters and the wild: reflections on eco-social healing in the WILD project PART II Experiencing Health in Blue Space 6. From water as curative agent to enabling waterscapes: Diverse experiences of the ‘therapeutic blue’ 7. Dúchas: Being and belonging on the borderlands of surfing, senses and self 8. Blue Yogic Culture: A Case Study of Sirvananda Yoga Retreat, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas 9. No ducking, no diving, no running, no pushing. Hydrophobia and urban bluespaces across the life-course PART III Blue health inequality and environmental justice 10. The shadows of risk and inequality within salutogenic coastal waters 11. Thirst World? Linking Water and Health in the Context of Development 12. Wellbeing and the Wild, Blue 21st Century Citizen 13. Environmental uncertainty and muddy blue spaces: health, history, and wetland geographies in Aotearoa New Zealand 14. Conclusion: New Directions
Ronan Foley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Maynooth University, Ireland.
Robin Kearns is a Professor of Geography in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Thomas Kistemann is Professor of Hygiene, Environmental Medicine and Medical Geography at the University of Bonn, Germany.
Ben Wheeler is Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, UK.