Recent years have seen an increase in scholarly attention applied to the experiential relationship between humans and water. Significant insights have been gained into the human-water relationship more broadly, for instance in regard to the rich and evolving meanings of seascapes (Brown and Humberstone, 2015), as well as the growing literature on the health-enabling potential of being in or near water (Foley, 2010, 2011, 2014; Foley and Kistemann, 2015). In relation to questions about water and health, the literature within and beyond health geography exploring ‘therapeutic blue space’ has emerged strongly, contributing to the already large body of work which has applied the concept of therapeutic landscape (Gesler, 1992) to a wide range of contexts, to investigate how environmental, societal and individual factors interact in the creation of health-enabling places (for a scoping review, see Bell et al., 2018). In Gesler’s (1992) original conceptualisation, a therapeutic landscape is a place (a) where a material setting has been created to support the pursuit of health and wellbeing, (b) which is culturally associated with health and (c) where social practices related to ‘healing’ take place. Through these three elements the ‘healing process’ is situated geographically in places. As such, the therapeutic landscape concept has been applied to a wide range of environments from the perspective of exploring the attribution of health-related meaning to places and landscapes by individuals, groups and more broadly societies.
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