Stigsdotter Dissertation Landscape Health

To promote city dwellers health see paper v because

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Unformatted text preview: y dwellers’ health (see Paper V). Because society was responsible for the health of the populace, during the period of industrialization city planners struggled to improve health by offering better sanitation, better housing, safer workplaces as well as sunlight, fresh air and greenery. The question thus arises: How can landscape architects ”build away” the stress that causes today’s burnout syndromes? 10 Theories and central works Because the different papers in the dissertation include examples of literature in environmental psychology dealing with theories of why and how human beings are affected by their environment, these theories will only be briefly mentioned here. Since the present approach to landscape architecture and health is applied, I will also discuss literature on the design of health-promoting environments. Because this area of study is quite broad, I have chosen to focus on the dissertation’s two main lines of inquiry: literature on theories of design of healing gardens and literature on theories of how everyday urban living environments should be planned in order to promote the health of city residents. The selection is intended to illustrate the state of the art in the field of study – landscape architecture and health – by emphasizing significant works and pointing out areas that lack scientific knowledge. Literature on theories from environmental psychology Paper III presents people’s answers to the question: What would you recommend a close friend to do if he or she felt stressed and worried?” Among the nearly one thousand randomly selected respondents, there was considerable consensus concerning their primary recommendations: – take a walk in the forest – listen to restful music – take a good rest in a silent and quiet park Respondents also showed agreement by placing last on their list of recommendations ”take sedatives.” Their answers would seem to indicate that people have a sort of common inherent feeling that it is good to visit natural environments when we feel stressed and worried (see Papers III and V). Several researchers, based on their different perspectives, have tried to explain why people derive pleasure from being in natural environments. Because these perspectives are presented in most of the articles (Papers I-IV), I will only provide a short account of leading theories here. Most Swedes no longer live in rural areas, but instead in cities or larger population centers (Statistics Sweden, 2000). Moreover, Swedes spend the greatest proportion of their lives indoors (Qvarsell & Torell, 2001), which is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of humankind. Actually, only during the most recent century did we stop living lives marked and influenced by the conditions of nature. Several scholars base their theories on the notion that we are biological individuals ”designed” to live in close contact with nature (Coss et al., 2003; Ulrich, 2001; 1999; 1993; 1984; Coss, 1991; Ulrich e...
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This document was uploaded on 09/24/2013.

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