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Unformatted text preview: larger role in teaching than was
planned at the outset. The great interest on the part of the public encouraged us to start a
brand new course in horticultural therapy in 2005. During 2007, we plan to start a three-year
bachelor’s program in horticultural therapy. The plan is that the bachelor’s program will be
based entirely at the healing garden at Alnarp.
We first wrote Paper II so that we would not forget our original thoughts and so that others
might be inspired by the project or share their viewpoints, thus helping to further develop
our ideas. My main contribution has been participation in the design work and writing the
sections on design of the garden, while Associate Professor Patrik Grahn has written about
the needs of patients and the medical background. We have written together about how the
hypotheses are integrated into the garden design and about how the garden might function in
future intervention studies. Paper III. Landscape planning & stress
Very few people would refute the claim that being outdoors in city parks and green areas is
good for human health. But is there actually any evidence showing that this is true? How
general is the experience that stays in city parks make you feel better and less stressed? How
can we design and plan people’s urban living environments so that they actually serve to
promote health? While considering questions of this sort, I was given, at the beginning of
my postgraduate work, access to a database. This database included postal surveys
completed by nearly 1000 randomly selected individuals. Answers to the survey questions
chiefly concern how the respondents make use of urban green spaces in their everyday lives
and how they rate their own health status. I now had the opportunity to pose a number of
questions to the survey database, which resulted in Papers III and IV. The overall main
question of Paper III is: Can the public urban open green spaces of a town or a city affect
feelings of stress among inhabitants and thus reduce the number of stress-related reactions
due to exhaustion?
We sought the answers to our questions using the statistical software SAS (SAS Statistics,
1996). Working with statistics requires solid knowledge of the subject, and thus the
statistical calculations for Paper III were made in collaboration with Associate Professor
Jan-Eric Englund. I wish to stress that though we could not have done the statistics without
the help of a statistician, a statistician could also not have conducted the study alone. The
most important aspect of this study is the questions posed, and posing the right questions –
questions that resulted in revealing associations that formed the foundation of Papers III and
IV – requires the perspective of a landscape architect.
Paper III presents research results showing a significant relationship between frequency and
length of stays in urban green spaces and frequency of perceived stress: the more often and
longer you visit a park or garden, t...
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