Landscape design for everyday wellness
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The loss and degradation of our natural environments is increasing at an alarming rate. Within the urban environment there is very little evidence of natural environments left, and what does still exist has been significantly impacted by human activity. Not only is there a need to restore and reintroduce nature back into the urban context for the health of the environment, but as well for the health of the human population. The “biophilia hypothesis” suggests that human beings have an innate connection to nature, and need this connection for their general well-being. The University of Manitoba Fort Gary campus is an everyday environment for many students seeking a post secondary education in Winnipeg, MB. It is a place that students and staff experience on a daily basis, and where high levels of stress and anxiety are ever apparent. This practicum explores how landscape and theories of biophilia can be utilized in the context of a post-secondary institution to mediate the negative impacts stress can have on well-being in this environment. Designing exterior spaces for the well-being of people will encourage a reconnection with nature, wildness, wonder, and awe that we are beginning to lose sight of as we continue to move towards a technology dependent world. An understanding of the various theories surrounding biophilia, wellness, and the environment is outlined in a literature review, resulting from an examination of existing research. Following research, a focused site analysis of the University of Manitoba Fort Gary Campus was conducted and resulted in a design at varying scales and levels of detail incorporating aspects from each stage of the design process.