Environments for Aging Conference 2013


Annual Environments for Aging Conference meets in New Orleans

APRIL 6 – 9, 2013 | The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel

The annual Environments for Aging Conference meets in New Orleans, April 6-9, 2013. The three-day event offers the latest strategies and ideas for creating attractive and functional living environments that meet the needs of our aging population. Register now in order to receive early bird discounts.

Professionals attending — architects, design professionals, government officials and aging experts – will come together to share common goals in the areas of building, architecture and design. The conference offers networking opportunities with peers and myriad workshops in the latest innovations and best practices in the design of long-term and residential care settings.


International Council on Active Aging Conference 2012

Japanese Maple. Photo by Henry Domke,

Japanese Maple. Photo by Henry Domke,

“Many journeys, many destinations”

The 10th Annual Conference of the International Council on Active Aging will take place November 29 through December 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Attendees will be able to choose from among several educational sessions on active aging, the aging process, and disease prevention.

The ICAA Conference is the active-aging venue for professional development and informal learning. Sectors represented at the conference include the retirement, assisted living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields, as well as government and academia. Connect with colleagues across the active-aging spectrum and build your knowledge network. 


“Forging New Frontiers, Cultivating New Landscapes” – AHTA Conference in Olympia, WA

Garden-Bridge_4995. Photo by Henry Domke,

Photo by Henry Domke,

2012 Conference of the American Horticultural Therapy Association
October 6-7, 2012
Olympia, Washington

The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) will hold its annual conference, October 6-7, in Olympia, Washington. Dr. Susan Rodiek, of Texas A&M University’s Center for Health Systems and Design, will be the keynote speaker. Rodiek is a well-known researcher in the field of health care design with a focus on aging, dementia and the role of the outdoors in senior residential care.

The conference, “Forging New Frontiers, Cultivating New Landscapes,” offers a range of sessions including the “Reflective Garden Walking Program to Reduce Stress.” In this Saturday session, presenter Ruth McCafferty will discuss the walking program at the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. The Stroll for Well Being was developed to measure the effects of reflective garden walking on stress, depression, and emotional problems. In the workshop, “Cultivating Culture Change,” horticulture therapist Pam Catlin will invite attendees to vision the future of horticultural therapy for elders.

Perkins School for Blind

Perkins School for Blind

Formed in 1973, the American Horticultural Therapy Association has helped horticultural therapy gain acceptance as a unique and dynamic human service program.Horticultural Therapy is recognized as an effective treatment with wide-ranging benefits for people in therapeutic, vocational, and wellness programs.

For more information about for the October AHTA conference, registration and hotel accommodations, visit the conference site. The registration form is available here.

Roger Ulrich keynote at Gardens in Healthcare Conference

The Children's Garden at Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon

The Children’s Garden at Legacy Health, Portland, Oregon

Gardens in Healthcare: Rehabilitation, Recovery, and Restoration
Friday, Sept 21,  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Lorenzen Center
Portland, OR

Dr. Roger Ulrich, a behavioral scientist who is widely known for his research on the impacts of healthcare facilities on medical outcomes, will be the keynote speaker for a one-day conference on Friday, September 21, at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (Portland, OR). Ulrich and others will address the use of gardens in healthcare settings to promote better outcomes for patients, improved effectiveness for staff and a safer care environment for both.

A large and growing body of evidence indicates that the physical environment impacts patient stress, patient and staff safety, staff effectiveness, and the quality of care provided in healthcare settings. Increasingly, healthcare design is guided by rigorous research linking the physical environment of hospitals to patient and staff outcomes. Like “evidence-based medicine,” where clinical choices are informed by research,  healthcare design, too, is being guided by quantitative and qualitative research. Legacy Health System in greater Portland has nearly a dozen healing gardens between its five facilities. These  gardens provide a physical space in which patients, family, and healthcare staff may use  with specific and purposeful ends in mind.

The Portland conference is suited to therapists, physicians, administrators, nurses, facility staff, and design professionals.  By the end of the day, attendees will be able to 1) describe three benefits of gardens for patients, families, visitors, and staff; 2) summarize two research studies to support gardens in healthcare; and 3) outline processes (strategies) to promote interdisciplinary planning, programming, and evaluation of setting-specific gardens

The registration form provides details about conference programming, fees, continuing education credits, and accommodations. For more information, contact Teresia Hazen at or 503-413-6507.

To learn more about the Legacy Health gardens visit,

EDRA44 Providence Call for Proposals

Panorama at RISD & Downtown Providence

September 21 is deadline for EDRA44 proposal submissions

“Healthy and Healing Places” is the theme of the 2013 Environmental Design Research Association Conference. EDRA44 organizers are accepting proposals through Friday, September 21, 2012. Deadline for display poster submissions is November 30, 2012.

For design professionals, health and human service providers and others, the conference represents an opportunity to con­tribute health policy through environmental design research The conference will take place May 29-June 1, 2013 at the Westin Providence Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.

EDRA44 will have a special fo­cus on health policy implications for environmental design in addition to promoting the value of research for advancing environmental design and theory building. Among others, consider some of the following hot topics:

  • Team science: Shaping multidisciplinary environments to promote primary healthcare delivery
  • Urban planning strategies to promote population health using health indicators in urban planning
  • Building capacity among public health professionals with regard to environmental design
  • Strategies for affordable green and healthy housing
  • Strategies for building health into building design
  • Place-based health indicators
  • Integrating health impact assessment into environmental design
  • Health hazards of buildings and building materials
  • Environmental health 101 for non-health professionals
  • Health-related policies and regulations 101: What architects and engineers need to know

For more details about the Call for Proposals please visit the EDRA44Providence site. Proposals can be submitted at the submission site:, and questions about proposals or other conference matters can be emailed to

EDRA44 Providence


International People Plant Symposium, September 6-8, 2012

People Plant Symposium 2012

Castle ‘De Berckt’ is home to the 2012 International People Plant Symposium. Courtesy of IPPS

“Diversity: Toward a New Vision of Nature”

The most important thing for the future is to learn how to resonate with nature. To resonate means making contact with life, with everything that breathes. I believe that the best way to find the right path for humans is to live a true, naturally sustainable life. When people truly make contact with plants and animals, there are new ways to communicate with each other. People will find their natural way of being. Synchronicity exists when patterns of human life resonate with those outdoors in natural ‘wild’ life. – Annette Beerens, Chair of the Organizing Committee IPPS 2012

Castle ‘De Berckt’ in Baarlo, the Netherlands is home to the 11th International People Plant Symposium, September 6 – 8, 2012. The event is sponsored by the People Plant Council (PPC) in partnership with the Growing Foundation and the International Society for Horticultural Science.

This year’s symposium will create a platform for therapists, scientists, educational institutions and businesses; and will develop an international perspective of the people plant relationships. The event will be a dynamic experience by means of presentations, lectures, discussions, and workshops. In addition, the venue and cultural program will add color the overall experience. The symposium will be enlightening for anyone interested in the profound relationship between nature and humans, such as horticultural therapists, therapeutic horticulturalists, eco-therapists, clinical and environmental psychologists, coaches, counselors and others.

A pre-conference tour is scheduled on September 5th to Viersen-Paffendorf-Garzweiler-Hombroich. The Floriade is also well worth visiting, and a day ticket is included.

For more information, and to register, visit the IPPS website,


HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference – A wealth of sessions related to Access to Nature

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden. Photo courtesy of Desert Botanic Garden

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden. Photo courtesy of DBG,

November 3 – 6, 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Early bird registration ends 7/27
Click HERE to register and for more details



The annual HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference looks great this year, with a plethora of education sessions related to access to nature, including one with me and two awesome colleagues:

Tuesday, 11/6 from 8:00 a.m.  – 9:00 a.m.
Environmental Standards Council—The Case for Access to Nature in the 2014 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities

Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC, PhD Student in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture in the Center for Health Systems & Design
Jerry Smith, Owner and Principal, SMITH\GreenHealth Consulting, LLC
Alberto Salvatore, Principal, Salvatore Associates

Through recommendations for the 2014 ‘Guidelines for Design and Construction of Healthcare Facilities,’ The Center for Health Design’s Environmental Standards Council (ESC) proposed language and substantiating evidence for incorporating access to nature as one of the key elements in the Environment of Care. Quantitative and qualitative research indicates access to nature is an essential design component to the health and well-being of patients, visitors, and staff. This presentation will include an overview of the Guidelines and a look at proposed revisions to the Guidelines that will allow regulatory agencies to more strongly support the inclusion of meaningful outdoor spaces in future projects.

Listed below are all of the other sessions, in chronological order, that look like they would be of interest to TLN members. These are just sessions that jumped out at me as I scanned the list. Others may also touch on access to nature, so look at the full program to go into more depth. If you see any I’ve missed, please leave a comment.


ASLA 2012 – Several events related to health and well-being

Banner Good Samaritan Health Center. Photo by Brice Bradley

Banner Good Samaritan Health Center. Photo by Brice Bradley

Time flies, and it seems to fly even faster in the summer. Fall is just around the corner, and seems to be a big conference season, so stay tuned for more blog posts on events. Many thanks to Filiz Satir who has been helping with these events postings.

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of education sessions, tours, and even keynote speakers (e.g., Dick Jackson AND Esther Sternberg in 2010) at ASLA conferences (and Healthcare Design, and Environments for Aging, etc.). I think it’s an encouraging indication of the growing interest in landscapes for human health and well-being, and also a credit to leaders and members of ASLA’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network.


“Down to Earth”: 2012 Intn’l Geographical Union Congress

IGC Cologne 2012 - DOWN TO EARTH

32nd Congress meets in Cologne, Germany, August 26-30
With a session on “Plants, play and place.”

In August, the International Geographical Congress will meet in Cologne, Germany.  The IGU Congress will combine the traditional meetings of the IGC Commissions with a wide range of sessions addressing four key topics:

  • Global Change and Globalisation
  • Society and Environment
  • Risks and Conflicts
  • Urbanisation and Demographic Change

The 32nd Congress is about bringing research “Down to Earth.” Attending geographers will bring their wide-ranging perspectives and methodology on the four major themes, thereby contributing to the solutions of urgent scientific and socio-political issues.

The IGC is a congress of the International Geographical Union (IGU) that takes place every four years.  In 2004, the German Geographical Society (DGFG) together with the Geography Department of the University of Cologne successfully applied to host this year’s event.   To learn more about the IGC Congress visit them online.

Of particular interest to TLN members will be this session:
“Plants, play and place: Green Environments as a contribution to children´s healthy development,” with chairs Silvia D. Schäffer & Christina R. Ergler.  See for the full list of conference sessions.

3rd International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People, and Families

Tour guide, Peru. Photo by Gabriela Aguero from the Children Youth and Environments Image Collection

Tour guide, Peru. Photo by Gabriela Aguero from the Children Youth and Environments Image Collection

Geographies of Children, Young People, and Families

July 11-12, 2012, Singapore

Children’s geographies is that branch of human (cultural) geography which deals with the study of the places of children’s lives. In July, the 3rd International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People and Families will take place in Singapore at the National University of Singapore. The conference is open to academics, postgraduates, and locally-based youth and childhood practitioners and workers.

Human geography and its subset of specialties focus on cultural norms and components and their variation across spaces and places. It focuses on describing and analyzing the ways language, religion, economy, government, and other cultural phenomena vary or stay the same from one place to another, and on explaining how humans function spatially. As in many other social science disciplines, children have not been a particular focus of concern in geography. There is a considerable body of literature dating to the 1970s that includes studies of children spatial cognition and mapping abilities as well as their access to, use of and attachment to place.

To learn more about the conference, registration, and deadlines for paper submissions, visit the conference web site. The organizers will offer substantial fee reductions for postgraduate students and part-time employees. Specific queries may be sent to Tracey Skelton (, Conference Chair and Organiser.