Design & Restorative Places

All kinds of nature spaces can be beneficial to our health and wellbeing, if in different ways.  But history, practice and science have shown that certain designs are more conducive than others to restoration and healing of the mind and body. Our understanding of the mechanics of precisely what we are responding to, and of what works best in particular settings, continues to grow. Our discoveries are leading to purpose-built designs tailored to audience and need.

  Research about Design & Restorative Places

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Even small urban green space can lower depression rates, new research confirms

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Nature is Sanctuary.

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Neighborhood green space and health in a large urban center

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Designer’s approach for scene selection in tests of preference and restoration along a continuum of natural to manmade environments

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Nature and the Environment: The Psychology of Its Benefits and Its Protection

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Preliminary Analysis of TKF “Book & Bench” texts

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Seeing the forest for the trees: hybridity and social-ecological symbols, rituals and resilience in post-disaster contexts

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Refuges of local resilience: Community gardens in post-Sandy New York City

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Recognizing Stewardship Practices as Indicators of Social Resilience

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Holistic Care in the US Military I—The Epidaurus Project

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Research on the Beneficial Aspects of the Experience of Nature in Cities

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Reflect & Restore | Urban Green Space for Mental Wellness

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Feeling Stressed? Take a Time Out in Nature

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The Benefits of Nearby Nature in Cities for Older Adults

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Nearby Nature for Human Health | Sites to Systems.

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The Sacred and Nearby in Nature and Cities.

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Parents, communities take note: Teens need nature too.

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Can nature play a positive role before and after birth?

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Disaster recovery and a nature fix

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At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, nature is helping wounded warriors heal from invisible wounds

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Nature Meets Healthcare in Portland, Oregon

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Green spaces as an “under-recognized healer”

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In the wake of natural disasters, here’s what we need to do better

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Natural vs. highly-designed landscapes—which is better?

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What happens when you go for a walk?

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Air pollution damages the brain, but trees can help

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Take a Mental Break, Eat Your Veggies, and Other Sage Advice

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Gardens engage the mind, muscles, and hope

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Does Your Brain Prefer a Green Road?

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This Portland Hospital System is Using Nature to Help its Employees Combat Stress

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  Case Studies about Design & Restorative Places

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Whitman-Walker Healing Garden

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Mount Washington Arboretum

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Garden at Cedar Hill

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Inspiration Point

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Western Correctional Institution

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  More Resources about Design & Restorative Places

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Butterfly Angels

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Nature is Sanctuary.

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Stunning Design, Real Community Space in Singapore

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Designing for Health

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A Deeper Place of Being: An Interview with Jan Johnsen

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Nature and Cities: An Interview with Armando Carbonell

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Dan Kiley: Reconnecting Human Beings to Their Space on Their Land

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Creating Urban Density With Reflective Spaces: A Q&A With Green Developer Jonathan Rose

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  Browse other Impact Areas

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Health

Explore the many ways nature benefits health and wellbeing.

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Social cohesion

Discover how green spaces help build stronger communities.

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Disaster recovery

Find out how nature is being employed to help individuals and communities cope with tragedy.

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PTSD and Recovery

Learn about how nature is being drawn into new approaches to treating “invisible wounds”.

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Design & Restorative Places

Discover how purpose-built design is being used to encourage more meaningful nature experiences.

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Urban Resilience

Get informed of what experts are saying about the need for nature in sustainable cities.

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Perhaps you’ve been eyeing a vacant lot that’s just begging for green space. Or a neglected corner, ripe for a little pocket garden. Maybe you aren’t even sure yet—but you know your community could use some peace. Mindful reflection. Unity. Whatever the case, we’ve honed a method rooted in accessibility. These are small, often modest, green spaces meant to be folded into existing landscapes. See what we mean.

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