Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

Based on the knowledge gained through my studies

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Unformatted text preview: the knowledge gained through my studies, recent research shows that Solberga Park is appreciated, used and seems to have positive effects on residents (ibid). 9 Introduction The Swedish population is becoming increasingly older, but the years people spend in good health are fewer and fewer (SOU, 2002:5). Ill health is estimated to cost society 258 billion kronor (Lundgren, 2004; see also Paper V). As a result, health is now considered a resource – according to the Swedish government, the most important resource for sustainable development (Skr., 2003/04:129). In addition to the financial loss for society in terms of the costs of rehabilitation, illness may also lead to personal suffering. Serious and long-term illness may affect the life situation of the entire family. Thus, we even have a great deal to gain by working toward maintenance of Swede’s health and rehabilitation of people who are on the road to recovery. Why landscape architects should design for health The major illnesses facing society today are mental conditions and aches and pain (Prop. 2002/03:35). These mental conditions include fatigue reactions, or in popular speech ”burnout”, fatigue depression, anxiety, depression, fatigue and various more serious diagnoses such as psychosis, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder (ibid). Aches and pain include backache, neck pain and diffuse pain such as in fibromyalgia. The people most likely to suffer from these conditions are the gainfully employed between the ages of 25 and 65 years (ibid). Different research disciplines are now focusing great interest on how the environment may help to promote health and prevent burnout syndromes. More researchers and others are beginning to view health from a holistic perspective encompassing people’s entire life situation: biological, cultural, social as well as environmental aspects (see Paper V; Hansson, 2004; Qvarsell & Torell, 2001). Healing gardens Improvement of ill health Urban green spaces Maintenance and fortification of good health Figure 4. A schematic of the two types of outdoor environments the dissertation focuses on and the expected effects on the visitor’s health status. This holistic outlooks means that, with regard to working towards human health, there is a great deal for landscape architects to do (see Figure 4). Landscape architects may work with designing healing healthcare environments – outdoor areas surrounding hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric treatment centers – areas surrounding prisons as well as with specially designing healing gardens geared toward rehabilitation of different patient groups. Today, however, the question of how these different healing gardens should be designed so as to promote patient health is mostly unanswered. Yet landscape architecture and landscape architects can contribute even more to human health. For a long time past in Western history, there has been an awareness that greenery in the city may help to promote cit...
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This document was uploaded on 09/24/2013.

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