Profile photo of Francisca Lima

Job title:

Lecturer in Landscape Architecture


Evolution House, Room 2.22


Francisca Lima is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where she teaches history and theory of landscape architecture. From 2020 to 2023 she has directed the Master in Landscape Architecture Programme and before this the PhD Programme in Landscape Architecture of the University of Edinburgh. She is also one of the research articles’ editor at JoLA – Journal of Landscape Architecture.

Francisca’s research interests range from perception of landscape, to urban decline and green spaces in relation to community engagement and wellbeing.

Her PhD was completed in 2016, at the University of Edinburgh, exploring the role of open spaces to the revival of depopulated urban environments with a scholarship from the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation.

Since 2005 she has been collaborating in research projects with LEAF Research Center and the Philosophy Research Center of the University of Lisbon. Francisca has also co-chaired the conferences, Shrinking Cities I Expanding Landscapes (2013) and Landscape and Life (2017), with the support of the University of Edinburgh and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation respectively, among other sponsors, and has been a guest co-editor of the Shrinking Cities I Expanding Landscapes’s special issue, Landscape Research Journal (2017).

Francisca has also worked as an independent designer since 2009, more recently in partnership with s-lab/bound, landscape architecture office. Francisca completed her degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Lisbon, with a final dissertation focusing on the theme of Landscape Aesthetics (20/20).


Francisca's teaching is focused on history and theory of landscape architecture, plus  research methodology. Francisca has been supporting both UG and PG students in ESALA  developing their research skills. Moreover, she has been the course organiser of several courses at the UG and PG  levels namely the elective course entitled ‘Landscapes of Abandonment and Inhabitation’ where students are invited to reflect upon the concepts of ‘landscape’, ‘nature’, ‘wilderness’ and ‘environment’ through the perspective of historical and contemporary periods of population expansion and contraction.


Francisca is interested in the relationships between man and place, landscape perception and aesthetics, and the importance of communities in strengthening citizens' role in contemporary and historical urban governance. More specifically, Francisca has examined the impacts of depopulation on urban landscapes and urban dwellers’ perceptions in her doctoral project.

Francisca has also co-chaired the conferences, 'Shrinking Cities I Expanding Landscapes' (2013) and 'Landscape and Life' (2017), with the support of the University of Edinburgh and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, respectively, among several other sponsors. Following the former, Francisca was invited as a guest co-editor of a special issue for the Landscape Research Journal (Nov. 2017). 

Between 2009 and 2012, Francisca was engaged in the production of the anthology 'Landscape Philosophy' as part of the remit of two research projects based at the Philosophy Centre of the University of Lisbon.

Current PhD students

Yun Liu

Uses and Meanings of Chinese Walls: Past, Present and Future

Annie Gallagher

Conservation in the Cairngorms: History and Hope of People in the Landscape

Barbara Prezelj

Urgency Felt: Landscape Practices of the Event

Ayodeji Oloyo

Exploring drivers for sustainable improvement of self-help settlement in the transformation of Lagos Megacity: The case of Makoko

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Urban Depopulation
  • Landscape Abandonment
  • Landscape Aesthetics
  • Landscape Governance and Community Building

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