Archive for the ‘ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY’ Category


The military–medical complex is looking at environmental approaches to treating trauma.

From the November 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine 

This past summer, Fred Foote met me in front of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, the home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. We set out for an early look at the Green Road, a half-mile path and a 1.7-acre woodland garden being built along the banks of a stream that winds through the sprawling campus.

Foote is a retired navy neurologist who is an adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He also has the title of scholar at an outfit in Baltimore called the Institute for Integrative Health. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, (more…)

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A palette of possible play spaces by Studio Ludo and Roofmeadow calls for natural materials including salvaged tree trunks and rainwater.

A yearlong design campaign in Philadelphia promotes the value of recreation.

From the July 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Today, young children spend much of their time in schools and child-care centers, but these places rarely offer rich outdoor environments for unstructured play. That’s a problem, says Sharon Easterling, the executive director of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. Such play is not just a leisure activity. It’s how children learn. “Good early-
childhood education is really hands-on, play-based learning,” she says.

Over the past year, the association and the Community Design Collaborative in Philadelphia have partnered to bring attention to the important role that play—and thoughtfully designed play environments—can have on children’s intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development. As part of an initiative called Infill Philadelphia: Play Space, they created an exhibit, brought in speakers, hosted a charrette, and sponsored a design competition.

Their Play Space Design Competition, funded by the William Penn Foundation, sought ideas for (more…)

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Wikipedia/Cassandra W

How do natural views affect student achievement? Shimon Zimbovsky, a very enthusiastic graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, is working on a long-term study of 36 schools to see whether replacing the barren landscapes surrounding the schools with vegetation will have any effect on students’ performance. His work, which he presented last Thursday at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture conference, was inspired by an earlier study by Rodney H. Matsuoka published in Landscape and Urban Planning (payment required).

Matsuoka examined 101 high schools in Michigan to see what role the presence of natural views played in students’ academic achievement and behavior. His analysis controlled for a number of factors, including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, building age, and school size. According to the paper, “Views with greater quantities of trees and shrubs from cafeteria as well as classroom windows are positively associated with standardized test scores, graduation rates, percentages of students planning to attend a four-year college, and fewer occurrences of criminal behavior.” The opposite was also true. Where the views lacked trees and shrubs, where cafeterias and classrooms looked out over parking lots and large expanses of lawn, Matsuoka found lower levels of academic achievement.

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