Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 47

The

Center

OUTDOOR THERAPY

A day trip to the Biltmore House & Gardens
provides a powerful reminder of the restorative
benefits of nature By Debra Levin

I

BILTMORE HOUSE & GARDENS

N 1984, Roger Ulrich published his seminal research on the

positive impact of views of nature on post-surgery recovery.
That study is still one of the most referenced research reports
in our industry, both in the professional and lay media.
At The Center, we talk a lot about the restorative benefits of
nature, especially considering the high-stress situations we
often design for in healthcare. In 1995, we commissioned a
research project that resulted in the publication of "Gardens
in Healthcare Facilities: Uses, Therapeutic Benefits, and Design Recommendations," by Clare Cooper Marcus and Marni Barnes. The book provides a history of hospital gardens, a literature review, and a synopsis of 12
case studies and is available as a free download at www.healthdesign.org.
Yet, being aware of all the benefits of access to the outdoors, I'm still
always amazed at how refreshed and restored I feel after spending extended time out in nature, usually on the occasional vacation. After the
Environments for Aging Expo and Conference this past April in Savannah, Ga., I decided to take a few days and explore that part of the country,
including visiting the Biltmore House & Gardens in Asheville, N.C., and
exploring the amazing architecture and overwhelmingly beautiful gardens. (My timing was great, as it happened to be a 70-degree, bug-free day
with no humidity and an explosion of azaleas in bloom.)
Fredrick Law Olmstead, the landscape architect for the grounds and
gardens, was unimpressed by the natural state of the surrounding landscape and planted the estate to create a significant park-like setting with

dense forests and local farms. Today, the original 125,000 acres have been reduced to a more
manageable 7,000 acres. It was a spectacular
place to explore and get lost, and I left feeling
relaxed, happy, and healthy.
There's plenty more evidence to support
how I felt, too. A search for "nature" on The
Center's Knowledge Repository turns up more
than 300 citations, 175 of which have key-point
summaries outlining related research. One
of our most popular on-demand webinars is
from Fred Foote, a retired U.S. military physician, who shared the journey of creating the
Green Road Project, a half-mile green corridor
and wheelchair path and a 1.7-acre woodland
healing garden on the campus of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in
Bethesda, Md. It's an extraordinary story if you
haven't heard it, and the webinar, "The Green
Road Project: Healing Via Nature for Wounded
Warriors," is still available on our website.
Another great resource is the Therapeutic
Landscapes Network (www.healinglandscapes.
org), which offers a variety of information and
sources on gardens and landscapes that promote health and well-being.
As we turn the calendar to summer, I hope
you can take advantage of the extended hours of
daylight and maybe plant a garden to enjoy the
harvest, take a weekend road trip out into the
countryside, or go on a vacation that includes
a daily dose of nature. You'll feel happier and
healthier-the science supports it. And as you
start your next healthcare project, remember
to think about how you can incorporate nature
into your work, whether it's through views to
the outdoors, access to a garden, or nature images on the walls, so that patients, families, and
staff can reap the benefits, as well. 
Debra Levin is president and CEO of The Center for
Health Design. She can be reached at D L E V I N @
H E A LT H D E S I G N . O R G .

J U N E /J U LY 2 01 8

47


http://www.healinglandscapes.org http://www.healinglandscapes.org http://www.healthdesign.org

Healthcare Design - June/July 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - June/July 2018

Healthcare Design - June/july 2018
Contents
Editorial
Show Talk
Full Spectrum
Continuing the Hai Fight
Diversity in Design
Natural Progression
At Your Service
Operations Bridging the Gap
Product Spotlight
The Center
Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Healthcare Design - June/july 2018
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 1
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Contents
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 4
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 5
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 6
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 7
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 8
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 11
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 12
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Full Spectrum
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 14
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 15
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Continuing the Hai Fight
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Diversity in Design
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Natural Progression
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 19
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 20
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 21
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 22
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 23
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 24
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 25
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 26
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 27
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - At Your Service
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 29
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 30
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 31
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 32
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 33
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 34
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 35
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 36
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Operations Bridging the Gap
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 38
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 39
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 40
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 41
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 42
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Product Spotlight
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 44
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 45
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - 46
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - The Center
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2018 - Cover3
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