Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

And reveals an understanding of a human perspective

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Unformatted text preview: ls an understanding of a human perspective on the city as a living environment. Thus, they do not deal with issues of beauty versus ugliness, but with city spaces that are suited to human bodies and the human senses – with how we relate to our surroundings and to our sensory system. During recent years, the great work of Christopher Alexander, Nature of order, has been published in four separate volumes. This work covers city planning, contentment and wellbeing, but the earliest example of cross-disciplinary work – including evidence-based knowledge on health and on the physical environment that leads to planning recommendations – is the book With people in mind from 1998. In this book, scholars Stephan and Rachel Kaplan present some of the research achievements of their more than 20 years of work in environmental psychology. In an attempt to make their results accessible to landscape architects, architects, managers of parklands and urban recreation areas, they have been assisted by landscape architect Robert Ryan. To aid the design process, Ryan tries to convert Kaplan and Kaplan’s theories to picture form. I believe, however, that Kaplan and Kaplan’s results have been oversimplified in their attempt to make them applicable. Despite this, theirs is an important contribution, which may inspire practitioners to look more closely at their research findings. Comments on the selected literature In the current political context, as in efforts toward the fifteen national environmental quality objectives (SOU, 2000:52) and the public health bill Public Health Objectives (Prop. 2002/03:35), it is pointed out that urban green spaces are important to public health in Sweden. It is stated that natural environments must be accessible to all groups in society, even weak groups such as children, the elderly and the ailing. This has led, consequently, to a demand – on the part of county councils, municipalities, practicing landscape architects, politicians and the public – for knowledge and literature explaining how healing gardens as well as the city and its natural environments should be given shape on the basis of the perspective of health promotion. For several decades, researchers both in Sweden and other countries have developed the literature on theories developed in environmental psychology. This has resulted in a solid body of literature of high scientific quality. The literature on theories of the design of healing gardens and theories of how everyday urban environments may be planned to promote residents’ health is much more sporadic and tends not to be based on scientific evidence. Problem formulation in the dissertation The present doctoral dissertation focuses on two important goals in landscape architecture – goals concerning human stress: 1. Designing healing gardens that have health-promoting effects on patients suffering from fatigue reactions (burnout), and 2. Creating spaces for relaxation and exercise in the everyday living envi...
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This document was uploaded on 09/24/2013.

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