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From Evidence to Design Solution
– On How to Handle Evidence in the Design Process of Sustainable, Accessible and Health-Promoting Landscapes
A new research paper illustrates the importance of including people in the process of designing green spaces. Several studies have shown that green spaces have a positive health impact on various groups of people, but one has been overlooked in research: People with mobility disabilities. It is crucial to consider this group and thereby not leaving anyone behind and to endeavour to reach the furthest behind first as the Agenda for Sustainable Development has promised as: Leave No One Behind.
The paper demonstrates how evidence can be translated into clear design solutions that form the basis of a design that meets the needs of a target group and furthermore examines the implementation of a process model for evidence-based health design in landscape architecture.
”From Evidence to Design Solution – On how to handle evidence in the design process of sustainable, accessible, and health-promoting landscapes” is written in collaboration with Marie Christoffersen Gramkow, Ulrik Sidenius, and Ulrika Stigsdotter from the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at University of Copenhagen and Gaochao Zhang from the Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization, Tsinghua University, Beijing and is published in Sustainability vol. 13, issue 6, 2021.
The work of landscape architects can contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the associated ‘Leave no one behind’ agenda by creating accessible and health-promoting green spaces (especially goals 3, 10 and 11). To ensure that the design of green space delivers accessibility and intended health outcomes, an evidence-based design process is recommended. This is a challenge, since many landscape architects are not trained in evidence-based design, and leading scholars have called for methods that can help landscape architects work in an evidence-based manner. This paper examines the implementation of a process model for evidence-based health design in landscape architecture. The model comprises four steps: ‘evidence collection’, ‘programming’, ‘designing’, and ‘evaluation’. The paper aims to demonstrate how the programming step can be implemented in the design of a health-promoting nature trail that is to offer people with mobility disabilities improved mental, physical and social health. We demonstrate how the programming step systematizes evidence into design criteria (evidence-based goals) and design solutions (how the design criteria are to be solved in the design). The results of the study are presented as a design ‘Program’, which we hope can serve as an example for landscape architects of how evidence can be translated into design.
You can read the research paper by clicking here.