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Unformatted text preview: lanning
After having been asked in various contexts to tell about the results of the previous studies
(paper III and IV), I came to realize the need for me to present our research in a more
accessible, applied and nuanced manner. This is in line with the so-called ”third mission” of
Swedish universities, which concerns the spreading of research results and the creation of
conditions for closer associations between academia, society and industry (www.slu.se,
2005-02-15). Thus, the final paper in the dissertation discusses the major question of how a
health-promoting city should be planned. In Paper V, I develop my discussion of our results
by placing them in a broader context, for example, the ongoing debate on urban
development, previous research, sustainable development, national public health goals and
the notion of health as a resource. In order to accomplish this in a scientific paper, I needed
to let my own voice be heard without debasing the scientific value of the findings. I chose,
therefore, the method of the scientific essay.
In Paper V, I explain that, since our early civilization, health has been an important
precondition for cities and urban green spaces and a significant element of city planning. As
mentioned, in Sweden, offering city dwellers a healthful living environment has been the
responsibility of society since the 19th century. The current public health bill, Public Health
Objectives, takes this as a point of departure and states: ”There is a clear relationship
between people’s use of urban green spaces for general recreation and their access to such 25 spaces in their own neighborhoods. Studies show that people’s everyday environments are
of great importance to their stress levels and health” (Prop. 2002/03:35, p. 61, translation by
K. Williams). The plan is to work toward meeting these objectives within a 20-year period.
This means that we must get started now. At the same time, however, there is a debate in
Sweden, and other countries, about the dense as opposed to the sprawled city. In the middle
of this debate are the notions of safeguarding urban green spaces and improving their
Papers V and II constitute the most applied parts of the dissertation. I make no dramatic
proposals here (Paper V) – this is not a question of identifying the ideal city plan, but of
how we can take advantage of the resources that currently exist in the form of green areas.
Practicing landscape architects, politicians and ecologists have all shown great interest in
our research results. In Paper V, they are able to find useful arguments and help with giving
shape to their ideas. Yet this interest in our work also implies a great responsibility. There is
considerable work left to be done with operationalizing our results and making them more
The dissertation covers a wide field of study. Its overall point of departure is the hypothesis
that manifestations of good landscape architecture can promote human...
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