ASLA Therapeutic Landscapes Research Initiative

From LAND Online, the Landscape Architecture News Digest:

Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN Secures First PPN Initiatives Program Grant for Therapeutic Landscapes Research Initiative

“The Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) is the first recipient of a grant through ASLA’s PPN Initiatives Program. The Initiatives Program provides PPNs with financial resources for special projects that advance or promote the practice areas that the network represents. This initial grant is funding the Therapeutic Landscapes Research Initiative (TLRI). The TLRI, which began in spring 2007, is a compendium of current research on the health benefits of therapeutic landscapes.

The TLRI sprang out of a discussion at the 2006 ASLA annual meeting during the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN session. Members noted that there has been much more research in the past few years in the area of health care and therapeutic design, and practitioners want to stay abreast of that new information. However, it is difficult to keep up with the current research because new studies are published in a wide variety of sources. As a result of that discussion, PPN members applied for a PPN Initiatives Program grant. Funding began May 1, 2007, and will last one year.

The grant pays stipends for one to two students from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, to comb through new research from academic libraries for current articles of interest to health care and therapeutic garden design professionals. Summaries of this research are made available on the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN website. An interactive blog is also under development to allow members to engage in dialogue about and continue refinement and application of this research.

For more information about the TLRI, contact Susan Erickson, Iowa State University, at 515-294-1790 or To access the TLRI database, visit the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design TLRI website at”

This is an excellent new resource, particularly for designers who need a way to distill the growing body of literature on research-based healthcare design.