Angela Ruiz del Portal

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Conceptualisations of wellbeing: meeting socio-psychological needs in brownfield redevelopments in South Wales

Research abstract

This comparative-historical, qualitative study explores how wellbeing is conceptualised in relation to socio-psychological needs in brownfield redevelopment projects before and after the advent of sustainable development in South Wales. The research considers two intergenerational and neighbouring case studies. The focus on the decision-making process for the planning of physical components of social infrastructure narrows down the scope to investigate a particular aspect of the operationalisation of wellbeing in the interface between the social and physical spheres. Critical discourse analysis of project and planning documents as well as of purposeful interviews help to address the research question.     




Dr David Howard

Dr Dave Valler


Angela is pursuing her DPhil as a Kellogg Scholar, funded by the Oxford-Prince’s Foundation scholarship. She is an experienced postgraduate teacher in sustainable and urban design in the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, and a fellow of the Advance-HE Academy (FHEA). Angela is also a fully qualified Spanish architect by the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. After several years of professional practice in Barcelona, she moved to the UK and in 2011 gained her MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design with distinction from Cardiff University, with a chosen focus on the urban scale.


Papers and lectures

Ruiz del Portal A., 2020. Critical discourse analysis to investigate how the framing of wellbeing has evolved in brownfield redevelopments in South Wales. WSA PGR Internal Conference. ‘Research Methods’. Online, 4 December.

Ruiz del Portal A., 2016. The greening of urban brownfield sites in the UK context. A literature review. Newton Fund Workshop: ‘Adopting an R-Urban model: empowering local communities to develop sustainable built environments in developing countries’. Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 30 November-4 December.

Ruiz del Portal A., 2015. Is the European Green Capital Award showcasing appropriate models of best practice for transition? The land use indicator. 52nd International Conference. Achieving Green, Healthy Cities. Bristol, 29 June – 3 July. [viewed Jan 2021]

Ruiz del Portal A. & Gwilliam J., 2014. Training needs to realise low carbon buildings: The Welsh built environment sector. In C.A. Brebbia & R.Pulselli (Eds.), Eco-Architecture V. Proceedings of 5th International Conference Eco-Architecture: Harmonisation between Architecture and Nature, Siena, Italy, 24-26 September (pp.589-601). Southhampton: WIT Press. [viewed Jan 2021]

Ruiz del Portal A., 2013. Sustainable Urban Form. A Literature Review. WSA Internal Conference. Cardiff University, 23 May.

Research interests

urban regeneration; urban transformation; brownfield redevelopment; place-making; social infrastructure; wellbeing