Related Organizations

SLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Healthcare & Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network

Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA)
ANFA is the only organization in the world devoted to the goal of building intellectual bridges between neuroscience and architecture. Not only will architects benefit from the knowledge base made possible by neuroscience, but future generations of school children, hospital patients, office workers, and worshippers in sacred places will have their environments more carefully tuned to their needs and desires.

Access to Nature
Planning outdoor space for aging.
This award-winning DVD series illustrates a wide variety of ways to make nature more accessible and inviting at senior communities.Backed by current research, Access to Nature is a multimedia educational program on improving outdoor access for older adults.
This set of three videos, interactive exercises, and a continuing education course form a powerful learning tool in a format that can easily be applied by designers, administrators, activity directors, gerontologists, and others involved with senior housing.
These guidelines show how to plan outdoor space to benefit health, increase physical activity, and improve quality of life in residential settings at all levels of care.

Acer Institute
Founder / Director: P. Annie Kirk, BSW, MLA, ASLA
The Acer Institute unites professionals regionally to facilitate dynamic, patient-focused, multidisciplinary design processes; facilitate conferences and education services; sponsor on-going research and knowledge community repository; and conduct post-design evaluations.

Active Living by Design
Active Living By Design (ALBD) creates community-led change by working with local and national partners to build a culture of active living and healthy eating. Established by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ALBD is part of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Active Living Research
Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, contributes to the prevention of childhood obesity in low-income and high-risk racial/ethnic communities by supporting research to examine how environments and policies influence active living for children and their families.

AIA Academy of Architecture and Health
The AAH mission is to improve both the quality of healthcare design and the design of healthy communities by developing, documenting, and disseminating knowledge; educating design practitioners and other related constituencies; advancing the practice of architecture; and affiliating and advocating with others that share these priorities. 

American Architectural Foundation (AAF)
AAF educates individuals and communities about the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Through our outreach programs, grants, scholarships and educational resources, AAF inspires people to become thoughtful and engaged stewards of the built environment.

Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) Healthier Places
“Supporting the creation of truly healing places and healthier communities across Scotland.” Includes Pulse, the Healthier Places case study and image database: “Pulse is a case study and image database which assists clients and design teams in Scotland to share their successes and explore possibilities for new healthcare environments.”

The Center for the Advancement of Health
The Center for the Advancement of Health translates to the public the latest evidence-based research on health, health care, prevention and chronic disease management, with an emphasis on how social, behavioral and economic factors affect illness and well-being.

Centers for Disease Control Healthy Places
A really great resource for broader issues of the interaction between the built environment and public health. Great site.
According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity. A healthy community as described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 report is one that continuously creates and improves both its physical and social environments, helping people to support one another in aspects of daily life and to develop to their fullest potential. Healthy places are those designed and built to improve the quality of life for all people who live, work, worship, learn, and play within their borders — where every person is free to make choices amid a variety of healthy, available, accessible, and affordable options.

The Center for Health Design
A good source for information on architectural as well as landscape healthcare design. They publish an excellent journal called Health Environment Research Design (HERD).

The Center for Resilient Cities
Center for Resilient Cities works with citizens, nonprofits, and government partners to create healthy, high quality environments. Together, we improve and protect the natural environment, human health, and local economy.

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare – Outer Space
Outer Space is a project conceived by The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. For the past three years CSH has been developing the NHS Forest, a project aimed at improving the health of patients, staff and near by  communities through increasing access to green space on or near to NHS land and promoting and supporting the planting of more trees on healthcare sites across the country…Each site is different and will have different opportunities but the unifying theme is the increased understanding of how access to green spaces and natural settings benefits health and wellbeing.

The Children & Nature Network
The vision and mission of the Children & Nature Network is to give every child in every community a wide range of opportunities to experience nature directly, reconnecting our children with nature’s joys and lessons, its profound physical and mental bounty.

Design for Health
Design for Health (DFH) is a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota, Cornell University, and the University of Colorado that serves to bridge the gap between the emerging research base on community design and healthy living and the everyday realities of local government planning. Design for Health (DFH) focuses on how planners and other related occupations can play a role in changing the built environment in ways that may influence human health.

Earth Spirit Heal
Website of Sally Schauman, landscape architect and professor at Duke University. An eclectic mix of information, poetry, images, and musings.

Ecopsychology UK
They have a social networking group that you can join to connect with other like-minded people.
The newsletters Great Turning Times ( is written by one of the UK members and Ecotherapy Heals ( by a member in the USA.
Ecopsychology is an emerging discipline / art form / practice, making bridges between professions, between ways of thinking, between head, heart and hands…We look for change in the way we humans (especially, but not only, in the West) have come to see ourselves in relation to the rest of life. In particular, we seek a re-visioning of the divide we’ve put between our own species, other species and everything that is not human, or deemed not ‘useful’ to humans.
According to Howard Clinebell, who wrote a 1996 book on the topic, “ecotherapy” refers to healing and growth nurtured by healthy interaction with the earth. He also called it “green therapy” and “earth-centered therapy.” Although Clinebell preferred the term “ecotherapy,” which includes work with the body, to “ecopsychology,” the study of our psychological relations with the rest of nature, it is clear that ecopsychology provides a solid theoretical, cultural, and critical foundation for ecotherapeutic practice. For this reason we regard ecotherapy as applied ecopsychology.

The Eden Alternative
It can be different! We’re dedicated to eliminating the plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom of elders.
The Eden Alternative is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to transforming care environments into habitats for human beings that promote quality of life for all involved. Based on the core belief that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. It is a powerful tool for inspiring well-being for Elders and those who collaborate with them as Care Partners.

Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
An international, interdisciplinary organization founded in 1968 by design professionals, social scientists, students, educators, and facility managers. The purpose of edra is the advancement and dissemination of environmental design research, thereby improving understanding of the interrelationships between people, their built and natural surroundings, and helping to create environments responsive to human needs.
The “Ask EDRA” section is a great resource for people with specific questions.

The Foundation for Art & Healing
The mission of the Foundation is to use its position as a “bridge” to create and expand general awareness about art and healing, to bring forward through research and related explorations critical knowledge about art and healing and the relationship between them, and to help make this knowledge available at the individual and community level.

Garden Partners
Garden Partners provides on-going resources and support to sustain gardening programs for elders, at-risk children, and veterans. Partnering with Garden Partners ensures your program will be comprehensive, sustainable, and supported by the community. The hands-on process of caring for a garden — no matter how small — helps people reclaim their joy of life.

Gardens and People / Accessible Gardens
Gardens and People is a website with all kinds of articles and information on gardens’ history, garden design, art, plants and people…This website has an emphasis on people: it is about projects involving people with gardens. Updates are done bi-monthly. Some articles remain on the website permanently and others are moved to the archive after six months.
Their sister website, Accessible Gardens ( will be live in April.

Green Guide for Health Care
Green Guide for Health Care provides the healthcare sector with a voluntary, self-certifying metric toolkit of best practices that designers, owners, and operators can use to guide and evaluate their progress towards high performance healing environments.

Hiking Research
Exploring the latest research on the restorative power of nature.
Dr. Mark Ellison’s website and blog is an excellent resource.

Hope in Bloom
Roberta Dehman Hershon, Founder and Director
Hope in Bloom is a non-profit organization that provides gardens free of charge at the homes of women and men who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer (yes, men get it, too). They are currently focusing on gardens in Massachusetts only, but hope to expand to other states in the future.
“Hope in Blooom gardens offer people a beautiful, tranquil place to sit, reflect and escape from the world of doctors, hospitals and sickness. We create life-affirming indoor or outdoor gardens (container, patio or in-ground) for any breast cancer patient who requests one while in active treatment (the garden may be planted after treatment is over, but must be requested during treatment). All have symbols of life including color, texture, fragrance and sound incorporated into their design. Each garden is tailored to the recipient’s residential situation and lifestyle.”

Human Flower Project
The Human Flower Project is an international newsgroup, photo album and discussion of humankind’s relationship with the floral world. We report on art, medicine, society, history, politics, religion, and commerce. Written and photographic submissions are welcome.

Human Issues in Horticulture (HIH)
An International People-Plant Interaction Resource Center
Dr. Candice Shoemaker, Chair, and Dr. Andy Kaufman, Director
HIH looks at the influences of plants on people in all aspects of their lives. The focus is beyond the obvious environmental benefits that plants provide such as replenishing oxygen supply, preventing soil erosion, cooling neighborhoods and filtering dust to mention a few, but how plants affect people in social and aesthetic dimensions…HIH is to facilitate the mission of the People Plant Council (PPC), an international group of various individuals and professions, which is to document and communicate the effect that plants have on human well-being and improved life-quality.

InformeDesign: Where Research Informs Design
Excellent research and communication tool for designers. Research Summaries are added weekly.

Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD)
Founded in 1978 as Adaptive Environments, the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), as it is now known, is an international non- profit, NGO educational organization located in Boston, whose mission centers upon “advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. IHCD’s work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.”
Many thanks to Amy Wagenfeld for this description.

Institute for Patient-Centered Design
The Institute was founded by Patients and Design Professionals with the purpose of giving patients a voice in the development of the healing environment.  Healthcare providers, medical staff, and design teams spend countless hours defining the requirements of a healthcare facility.  Although these are key individuals to develop a successful project, the end users – patients are often excluded from this process.

International Academy for Design & Health
The vision of the International Academy for Design & Health is to develop and disseminate knowledge within international communities through the promotion and advocacy of high quality ‘research-based’ design and professional practice in the development of physical environments and technologies that improve human health and wellbeing.

International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine (INFOM)
A really excellent resource on forest medicine and related topics.
The purpose of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine is to promote research on nature and forest medicine including the effects of forest and nature environments on human health in the global vision around the world. The International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine will collaborate with the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO), and other related academic societies to carry out the study of forest and nature medicine, and the collection and editing of documents on the topic of forests and human health. INFOM has been a strong supporter of the progress and development of research involving nature and forest medicine, a field which has advanced in recent years with the development of medical equipment related to natural and life sciences. INFOM works for the advancement of nature medicine as well as contributing to health, welfare, and integrated medical care. In addition, INFOM is a society that aims to generate global influence through international cooperation.

International Council on Active Aging
ICAA connects a community of like-minded organizations and professionals who share the goals of changing society’s perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for aging Baby Boomers and older adults within the seven dimensions of wellness (emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental). The council supports these professionals with education, information, resources and tools so they can achieve optimal success.

Landscape and Human Health Laboratory
The Human Health and Landscape Laboratory is committed to using an interdisciplinary approach. Scientific questions do not fall neatly in the realm of a single discipline, and the solutions to the problems explored at the Human Health and Landscape Laboratory must satisfy the constraints of both human nature and the physical environment. As a result, we attempt to involve researchers from different disciplines in every research project.

Natural Learning Initiative
Creating environments for healthy human development and
a healthy biosphere for generations to come. The purpose of the Natural Learning Initiative is to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children, through environmental design, action research, education, and dissemination of information.

The National Academy of Environmental Design
The National Academy of Environmental Design is being established by a coalition of education and professional organizations focused on the built environment. The academy, which is proposed to be housed within the the existing National Academies, would share their mission of addressing critical national issues and providing advice to the federal government and the public.

Open Space
The research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments.
In association with Landscape Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art and the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University. OPENspace is an international research centre contributing new evidence on why inclusive access to the outdoors matters. A collaborative, multi-disciplinary team based in Edinburgh, we bring together experts in landscape architecture, environmental psychology, human geography, forestry, quality of life measures and design for all ages and abilities.

Open Spaces Sacred Places (formerly the TKF Foundation)
Providing the opportunity for a deeper human experience by supporting the creation of public greenspaces that offer a temporary place of sanctuary, encourage reflection, provide solace, and engender peace…

Outdoor Afro
“Where black people and nature meet.”
Outdoor Afro is a community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more! Outdoor Afro uses social media to create interest communities, events, and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.

Outdoors and Health NetworkForestry Commission UK
See especially the pages “Trees and woods for well-being and quality of life” – lots of great links and downloadable research studies.

The Powers of Place Initiative
We believe that places are alive. We suggest that when human beings believe that, and act in ways that respect and value what places bring, the partnership becomes a powerful force toward great good in the world. We have established the Powers of Place Initiative to gather, organize and make visible knowledge, people, organizations and places already working in ways that demonstrate the power of the partnership and to share what they know with others.
See also Bruce Janz’s searchable database of Research on Place and Space,

Planetree’s philosophy is based on a simple premise: care should be organized first and foremost around the needs of patients.  To understand those needs Planetree turned to the source. Thousands of focus groups—from bedside to boardroom—with patients, long-term care residents, families and professional caregivers across the globe have borne out their needs and desires for a more personalized, humanized and demystified health care experience.

Research Design Connections
An excellent source for people and place research, exploring “the way physical environments can be designed to reduce stress, increase creativity, improve health, and support people’s welfare.”
Information is presented, via the website and a quarterly print edition, in “straightforward prose, tables, and photos.”
Though a subscription is necessary to gain access to all information, the website offers a “free trial,” and Landscape Architecture Magazine publishes several of the articles every 2-4 months. ASLA members receive a 20% suscription discount.

Restorative Environments Network (iapsREN) Restorative Environments Network is an international community of practitioners and researchers interested in how restoration can be promoted and fostered by the environment. Born in Rome in 2008, we operate under the auspices of the International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS). Four years later in Glasgow, iapsREN gathered new momentum, resulting in our newly designed identity and community. Here you will find information about contemporary work in restorative environments, upcoming conferences and professional meetings, and researchers and professionals interested in restorative environments.

SAGE – The Society for Advancement of Gerontological Environments
SAGE is a collaboration of like-minded individuals with the common goal of improving physical environments for older adults. Since its founding in 1994, SAGE Federation has successfully advocated improving the built environment for older adults. Based upon a common desire for change, the SAGE organization has evolved from a few volunteers into a multi-state organization with hundreds of members. SAGE has an active National Federation Advisory Council and local chapters in several states.

The Sensory Trust
Creating inclusive environments. If you’re interested in how places can be made more accessible and more enjoyable for everyone this is the place to find ideas, information and examples of what good practice looks like. We cover inclusive community consultations, diversity awareness training, site reviews, and ways of strengthening social sustainability input into your building and landscape plans. You can also follow the latest developments in our projects and download useful information on creating accessible spaces.

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)
The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. One of the five credits is Human Health and Well-being.

SULIS – Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series
University of Minnesota
Information-packed page on healing gardens, including a nice definition; notes on general design and design for specific uses; many useful links and references.

“Using gardening to change lives.” Thrive is a small national charity, founded in 1978, that uses gardening to change the lives of disabled people. Our activities are varied but focus on championing the benefits of gardening to individuals and organizations, as well as teaching techniques and practical applications so that anyone with a disability can take part and enjoy gardening. A research programme underpins Thrive’s work to provide evidence and improve understanding. Gardening can help individuals accomplish many things. It can help rebuild a person’s strength after an accident or illness, and can provide a purposeful activity for someone coping with a difficult period in their life.

“Supporting health through horticulture.”
Trellis (The Scottish Therapeutic Gardening network) is the national Scottish charity that supports, promotes, and develops the use of
horticulture to improve health, well-being and life opportunities for
all. Trellis represents over 170 projects across Scotland that use
gardening and associated activities to improve the physical, social
and emotional health of individuals and communities. Trellis brings people from projects together at their annual conference in March and holds regular networking meetings throughout the country to share good practice and inpiration and also run training in a range of topics for network members. Trellis is also developing the research base in therapeutic horticulture. The organization was pivotal to creating a doctorate in therapeutic horticulture at the University of Stirling.

Urban Ecology
Vibrant neighborhoods are the building blocks of healthy cities and thriving regions. Urban Ecology uses urban design, land use planning, and policy reform to help communities plan and build neighborhoods that are ecologically healthy, socially just, and economically fair.