Out of sight: revealing the restorative nature of northern Manitoba
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This landscape architecture practicum proposes a restorative trail adjacent to Manitoba Provincial Road (PR) 391, the most northern all-season highway in Manitoba, connecting the town of Lynn Lake to the city of Thompson. The project examines the crucial role that the route plays in the transportation of northern Manitobans to health care facilities and their well-being while travelling. An application and expansion of Ian McHarg’s mapping layers of value systems from his book Design with Nature is used to correlate relationships and implement design strategies in the landscape. The values of economic, environmental, and socio-cultural elements reveal a history of the north that is rooted in a healthy landscape, resource exploration, and Indigenous culture. Anecdotal excerpts from the author’s personal experience dealing with cancer and the healthcare system have guided the practicum to explore the restorative nature of the landscape, where the landscape is considered as an important component in healing the mind, body, and soul. Landscape theories of restoration aid in identifying the benefits for both physical and mental health. The potential economic, environmental, and social benefits are considered and best practices are applied to the design of a healing landscape along PR 391.