Evaluating therapeutic landscape design elements of urban plazas in the southwestern United States
AuthorKirk, Patricia Ann
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPrevious research on the therapeutic effectiveness of well-designed outdoor spaces in healthcare settings (OSHS) indicates psychological and physiological benefits for patients, staff, and visitors. Beyond the medical environment, well-designed urban open space is thought to possibly provide a healing effect for the urban dweller or office worker. This study evaluated therapeutic effectiveness of existing urban plazas compared to OSHS (used as control sites) in the southwestern U.S. Methods involved summarizing recommendations based on literature and noted designs in the field, and developing evaluation criteria termed Therapeutic Landscape Design Elements (TLDE). Presence of 27 TLDE and calculation of site coverage was determined at 13 urban plazas and six outdoor spaces in healthcare settings. Ranked correlation and t-test analyses were used to determine significant differences between the two types of sites. Urban plazas had significantly greater percent hardscape than OSHS, whereas OSHS had greater presence of moveable furniture and designated smoking areas.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture