In Pursuit of Healthy Environments brings temporal depth to a highly topical issue, the interaction between health and the environment. By means of a rich set of historical case studies from Americas to Europe and from the tropics to the Arctic, the volume demonstrates that the concern for creating and finding healthy environments is not a new one, shows how the link between the environment and health has been perceived at different times and in different cultures, and discusses the practical implications of these conceptualizations.

The book written by scholars from architecture, cultural anthropology, history, Indigenous Studies, media studies and sociology will be of interest to a reader interested in the historical roots of present health-related environmental issues. It discusses the spatiality and materiality of the conceptions of health and the practices of nurture in colonial and post-colonial environments and shows how greatly indigenous and colonial mindsets have differed during the last 300 years.

It also investigates how certain environments have become labelled as healthy and life-preserving while others stigmatized by death and disease and how fluctuating these notions can be. Finally, it analyses the materialities and immaterialities, as well as the transgenerational and transboundary characters of environmental and medical knowledge.

chapter |9 pages


ByHeini Hakosalo, Esa Ruuskanen

part Part I|72 pages

Healthy and unhealthy environments

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages

Crafts and cleanliness

The regulation of noxious business activity in English towns during the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries
ByDolly Jørgensen

chapter Chapter 2|15 pages

Healthy nature in a bottle?

The contested naturalness of mineral water
ByMichael Zeheter

chapter Chapter 3|21 pages

Environmental anxieties in 1980s Athens

Mediatization and politics
ByPanagiotis Zestanakis

chapter Chapter 4|20 pages

The woodland cure

Tuberculosis sanatorium patients’ perceptions of the healing power of nature
ByHeini Hakosalo

part Part II|72 pages

Colonial environments and health

chapter Chapter 5|14 pages

From the “wooden world” to “London in miniature”

Charlotte Bristowe Browne’s diary, nursing, and the French and Indian Wars
ByMarcel Hartwig

chapter Chapter 6|19 pages

The geography of Arctic food

The northern environment and Sámi health in transition, c. 1750–1950
ByRitva Kylli

chapter Chapter 7|19 pages

Standardized housing concepts in the North

Sámi housing meets Western hygienic norms in twentieth-century Finland
ByAnu Soikkeli

chapter Chapter 8|18 pages

Health as living in tranquility

Dialogues with the Apurinã and Yaminawa in Indigenous Brazilian Amazonia
ByPirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Laura Pérez Gil

part Part III|91 pages

Environmental and medical knowledge

chapter Chapter 10|19 pages

Promotion of a modern holistic vision of hygiene

E.W. Lane’s hygienic medicine in the British medical market, 1850s–1880s
ByMin Bae

chapter Chapter 11|23 pages

From the local to the global, from the environment to the individual

Epidemiological knowledge production and changing notions of public health
ByMikko Jauho

chapter Chapter 12|21 pages

Ultimate and proximate, genetic and environmental

History of the explanations of altruism since the 1960s
ByPetteri Pietikäinen, Otto Pipatti

chapter |7 pages


ByHeini Hakosalo, Esa Ruuskanen