Alexander van der Jagt, BSc, MSc

Project Researcher

Alexander van der Jagt


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5997
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Alexander van der Jagt, BSc, MSc, PhD

Alexander is an environmental psychologist with a PhD in Psychology (University of Aberdeen, James Hutton Institute), an MSc (Distinction) in Social and Organizational Psychology (Leiden University) and a BSc in Psychology (Leiden University). He previously worked as a social scientist at Alterra (Wageningen University and Research Centre) and was active as a member of the Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES). He has a broad research interest in human-environment studies, having published papers on the health and well-being effects of natural and built environments, landscape experience and urban forest governance.

Current role

Social Scientist

Alexander van der Jagt provides social science expertise on topics related to urban ecosystem services and resilience to the LUES group. His main involvement is in the EU FP7 GREEN SURGE project, an interdisciplinary programme of research delivering knowledge and practical tools to improve the planning and governance of urban green spaces.

Current programmes

A four year EU project aimed at identifying, developing and testing ways of linking urban green spaces, biodiversity, people and the green economy. My main activities are:
• To address the question of how socio-cultural background influences urban green space use and preferences
• To document and analyse innovative methods of involving communities and private actors in aspects of urban green space management, including financing, in Edinburgh and other cities
• To document and analyse innovative green space planning approaches in Edinburgh and other European cities
• To coordinate the launch of, and activities organized by, Urban Learning Labs in five European cities, including Edinburgh. Urban Learning Labs are platforms for knowledge production involving both researchers and practitioners 
• To monitor stakeholder engagement and research impact in Urban Learning Labs
• To collaborate with researchers and professionals from the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust in the ‘Edinburgh Living Landscape (ELL)’ strategic partnership, which aims to deliver green spaces that are healthy, nature rich and resilient to climate change


Board member of Edinburgh Living Landscape

Trustee of Duddingston Field Group

Main recent publications

Most publications can be downloaded from my Research Gate profile:  

Van der Jagt, A. P. N., Elands, B., Ambrose-Oji, B., Gerőházi, E., Steen Møller, M., and Buizer, M. (in press). Participatory governance of urban green spaces: Trends and practices in the EU. Nordic Journal of Architectural Research.

Van der Jagt, A., Botzat, A., DeBellis, Y., Cvejić, R., and Mårsén, A. (2016). GREEN SURGE Deliverable 7.2: Iterative Place-Based Knowledge Gathering in Urban Learning Labs. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen.

Van der Jagt, A. P. N., Ambrose-Oji, B., and Lawrence, A. (2015). Wildlife and conservation in community woods: Business as usual? ECOS, 36(1), 36-43.

Smith, M., Van der Jagt, A., and Ambrose-Oji, B. (2015). GREEN SURGE Deliverable 7.1: Local Learning Alliances Established in Five Urban Learning Labs. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen.

Buizer, M., Elands, B., Mattijssen, T., Van der Jagt, A., Ambrose-Oji, B., Gerőházi, E., Santos, A., and Steen Møller, M. (2015). GREEN SURGE Deliverable 6.1: The Governance of Urban Green Spaces in Selected EU-Cities. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen.

Lawrence, A., van der Jagt, A. P. N., Ambrose-Oji, B., and Stewart, A., 2015. Local authorities in Scotland: A catalyst for community engagement in urban forests? In: Institute of Chartered Foresters, The Trees, People and the Built Environment II  
(TPBEII) conference. Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2-3 April 2014.

Van der Jagt, A. P. N., and Lawrence, A. (2014). Trees and Woods in Scottish Towns: the Role of Local Authorities. A Report to Forestry Commission Scotland. Edinburgh: Forest Research.

Van der Jagt, A. P. N., Craig, T., Anable, J., Brewer, M. B., and Pearson, D. G. (2014). Unearthing the picturesque: The validity of the preference matrix as a measure of landscape aesthetics. Landscape and Urban Planning, 124, 1-13.

Ambrose-Oji, B., van der Jagt, A. P. N., and O’Neil, S. (2014). Citizen Science: Social Media as a Supporting Tool. A Report to Forestry Commission Scotland. Edinburgh: Forest Research.