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Unformatted text preview: health. Naturally, I
am aware that many other factors in the outdoor environment may also affect our health.
Healing gardens and urban green spaces have the unique ability to offer simultaneously
many factors that can facilitate good health – factors such as daylight (Küller & Wetterberg,
1996; Küller & Lindsten, 1992), activities and exercise (Perk, 1998; Pate, 1995; Küller &
Küller, 1994), stimulation of the senses (Lundberg, 2001; Kaplan, 1987) and aesthetically
pleasing experiences (Dilani, 1999; Rapp, 1999; Ulrich, 1983). I do not claim to have
provided a comprehensive picture here. Based on statistical calculations, the research results
presented here may be interpreted as evidence for real and significant associations between
city dwellers’ use of urban green spaces and their experiences of stress. The dissertation is
to be viewed as a contribution to the field – a contribution that I hope will increase our
understanding of how important landscape architecture can be for human health, both with
regard to rehabilitation and health promotion.
The aim of the present dissertation 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. With reference to this, two attendant questions were formulated
that became the two studies underlying the dissertation. Study 1 deals with healing gardens,
i.e., gardens purposefully designed to facilitate the improved health of a patient group
(Papers I and II). Study 2 concerns how greenery in city dwellers’ everyday living
environments can help to maintain and fortify health (Papers III, IV and V). Both projects
deal with ill health caused by stress and with how different outdoor environments should be
designed if they are to promote health. The first attendant question of Study 1 is: What existing theories support the
notion of positive health effects of healing gardens and horticultural therapy for
people suffering from fatigue reactions? Interest in healing gardens is spreading rapidly
throughout the world, and several different research disciplines and professions are now
working with healing gardens and their effects on different patient groups. During my 26 postgraduate studies, I was astounded at the great differences in how different scientists and
practitioners view horticultural therapy and healing gardens. These differences allowed them
to be assigned to different schools:
–The Healing Gardens School. Advocated primarily by landscape architects and
environmental psychologists. The health effects are assumed to be derived above all from
the experiences of the garden room as such, its design and contents.
–The Horticultural Therapy School. Advocated primarily by medical scientists and
horticultural therapists. The health effects are assumed to be derived primarily from the
activities in the garden room.
–The Instorative School. Advocated primarily by lan...
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