Glossary and references

Last changed: 17 March 2022


Affordances: A term developed by J.J Gibson as part of the Theory of Affordances that states the world is perceived in terms of possibilities for action (affordances), which is independent of the ‘actor’s ability to perceive an affordance.

Factor analysis: A type of statistical analysis to identify clusters or groups of related items quantitatively by reducing the dimensions of data to one or more variables.

Individual differences: Characteristics, preferences, and understandings that distinguish one individual or group from others. In this podcast, these characteristics have included different needs and preferences in natural environments.

Perceived Sensory Dimensions (PSDs): An evidence based theoretical framework based on a factor analysis to indicate eight PSDs between sensory perception of environments and human health and wellbeing. The dimensions are: Serene, Space, Nature, Rich in Species, Refuge, Culture, Prospect and Social.

Restorative environments: Environments with characteristics that can promote and permit restoration.

Stimulating environments: Sensory information that triggers human physiological responses based on environmental stimuli such as light, color, sound, noise and temperature. In this podcast, we also the need of social environments as stimulating environments.

Spatial planning: Methods and approaches used by the public and private sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales such as in urban planning.


The research projects named:

  • Stoltz, J. 2019. Perceived Sensory Dimensions: A Human-Centred Approach to Environmental Planning and Design. Dissertations in Physical Geography, Stockholm University, ISBN: 978-91-7797-901-2, Retrieved from
  • Stoltz, J. and Grahn, P., 2021. Perceived sensory dimensions: An evidence-based approach to greenspace aesthetics. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 59, p.126989.

James, P., Tzoulas, K., Adams, M., Barber, A., Box, J., Breuste, J., Elmqvist, T., Frith, M., Gordon, C., Greening, K., Handley, J., Haworth, S., Kazmierczak, A., Johnston, M., Korpela, K., Moretti, M., Niemelä, J., Pauleit, S., Roe, M., Sadler, J. and Ward Thompson, C., 2009. Towards an integrated understanding of green space in the European built environment. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 8(2), pp.65-75.