Posted by Donald on March 11, 2004 at 11:02:12:
In Reply to: hospitals posted by Jenny on March 11, 2004 at 05:21:01:
The healing environment shouldn't only be for the hospital design but in our every day environment. We face two major health epidemics today: Depression and Obesity/Type 2 diabetes. The implications of these two diseases are related to to inactivity. We should be providing spaces that are attractive, in naturalized settings and that encourage engagement, mental refreshment and exercise. Buildings can provide light, clean air and opportunities for physical activity. Communities can be designed to provide pleasing, safe public spaces to enhance social contact.
Exercise need not only be in a therapy room, gymnasium or on a jogging trail, and social engagement need not be by appointment. For example, the CDC now mandates that its new buildings have inviting, safe, day-lit stairways near the entrance and signage that encourages people to use the stairs. Attractively designed stair landings help improve social and professional contact among CDC scientists and staff.
We need to build communities that include sidewalks, bike routes and a variety of housing types and sizes so people can "age" in place. There was a professional group discussion forum on the relationship between design and health held earlier this year. The full report from this event can be read at www.aia.org/aiaj. See the specifics on the creative incentives for architects to incorporate design elements in their buildings that promote good health...before going to the healing environment.
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