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Unformatted text preview: ronments of city dwellers – spaces such as
gardens near the workplace, a city park or courtyard gardens between apartment blocks.
Thus, the present work covers a large area, including both healing gardens and urban green
spaces. It deals with rehabilitation as well as health promotion. Rehabilitation has a
beginning and an expected goal, and between those two points in time improvement is to
occur. Health promotion is a question of continuous use in order to acquire something that 14 has salutogenic effects. The common factor here is that the landscape architect, through
his/her design of a healing garden or urban green space, is expected to positively affect the
health of visitors. Study aim
The overall point of departure of the present dissertation is the hypothesis that
manifestations of good landscape architecture is able to promote human health. The aim of
the study is to obtain and present research results that may be applied by practitioners and
that will ultimately lead to evidence-based landscape design and planning to promote health.
The above aim leads to the following four attendant questions:
– Do urban green spaces affect city dwellers’ perceived health?
– What existing theories support the notion of positive health effects of healing
gardens and horticultural therapy for people suffering from stress reactions?
– How should a healing garden intended for rehabilitation of people with fatigue
reactions be designed if it is to promote their health?
– How should urban green spaces be planned and designed if they are to offer city
dwellers a health-promoting living environment? Central concepts in the dissertation
A number of central concepts are used in the different parts of the dissertation, and I wish to
summarize and clarify them here.
During recent decades, an increasing number of research disciplines have begun to address
the question of human health. Many scholars are broadening their perspective from the level
of details to a more comprehensive, holistic perspective (see Paper V; Qvarsell & Torell,
2001). The World Health Organization’s well-know definition: ”Health is a state of
complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or
infirmity” (WHO, 1948) also shows that health ought to be viewed as a holistic and positive
state, which embraces the individual in relation to his/her entire life situation, in terms of its
biological, cultural, social and environmental aspects. Today, the words health and wellbeing are often used together. This is because if health is a positive state, then well-being is
the feeling of being in good health (www.ne.se, 2005-02-16).
Physicians endeavor to cure disease. Health and health promotion, however, constitute an
area of research that is the focus of increasing numbers of scientific disciplines. The popular
concepts salutogenic (Antonovsky, 1996) and health promoting (Hansson, 2004) are often
equated and refer to the circumstances that help to...
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