Open Voices Blog

News and conversations about the growing evidence of the healing power of nature and green development in cities

Open Voices News Roundup: July 8

Posted on 07/08/13

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Win:Win Journal – Re-Imagining Los Angeles
“With a goal to foster the advancement of green building and healthy communities, the Westside Branch of the USGBC-Los Angeles is committed to the future of sustainability. [The] journal, WIN:WIN, is dedicated to models and methodologies that inspire us to achieve transformative change in the built environment through the exploration of advanced levels of sustainability and a Beyond Platinum mindset.”

Designing Access To Nature In Healthcare
“Today, a growing number of healthcare facilities are focusing on health and well-being rather than solely on sickness and disease, providing access to nature to promote patient healing and relief from stress…Recently, the Environmental Standards Council (ESC) of The Center for Health Design submitted a successful proposal to the Facility Guidelines Institute to include “access to nature” as one of the key elements of the physical environment in the chapter on Environment of Care for the 2014 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities.”

An Inner-City Neighborhood Rallies Around a Long-Neglected Park
“Steve Coleman remembers arriving for his first day on the job as a community volunteer for the nonprofit Parks & People in Washington, D.C., more than 20 years ago…Today, he views his job of reconnecting the community with the stream as a key to improving life for the neighborhood’s mostly poor, African American residents…Today, in addition to the playground, the park [in Anacostia] boasts a natural amphitheater with a performance stage, providing excellent sightlines for crowds of up to 1,000 people. There’s also a weekend farmers market. Both venues were pioneered by neighborhood children, quietly subverting a dystopian drug bazaar that Coleman said didn’t quite have a response prepared for little kids having fun.”

Urban Farming: Nature, Art, and Society Converge
“Urban farmers and gardeners around the world transform abandoned lots into edible landscapes, improving human and ecological health as well as creating beautiful places. Richard Ingersoll surveys a myriad of concepts and projects from around Europe and the United States in his article Eat the City: The Art of Urban Farming.”

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We are a private nonprofit that funds publicly accessible urban green space. We believe that everyone needs to “be in nature” as nature both heals and unifies us. The Foundation partners with organizations to create Open Spaces Sacred Places, which increase a sense of community and contribute to a deepening of human connections. These sacred places reawaken and reaffirm the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing.

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