This year at Greenbuild! “The Human Connection: Landscapes that Promote Health and Well-Being.”

Gary Comer Youth Center Rooftop Garden, Chicago, IL. Image courtesy Hoerr Shaudt Landscape Architects

Gary Comer Youth Center Rooftop Garden, Chicago, IL. Image courtesy Hoerr Shaudt Landscape Architects

This year at Greenbuild (, Zolna Russell, Director of Sustainability at Hord Coplan Macht, Peter Schaudt, Principal at Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects and I (Naomi Sachs) will be presenting the Education Session “The Human Connection: Landscapes that Promote Health and Well-Being.” Competition for presentations was stiff – hundreds of proposals were submitted – and so it’s a testament to the growing interest in this field of restorative and therapeutic landscapes that our talk was chosen.

Greenbuild is in beautiful Toronto, Canada this year, from October 4-7. Early-bird registration ends MONDAY, so if you’re thinking about going, make that decision before Monday and save some money. Go to the Greenbuild site to register.

Here’s the blurb about our Education Session:

It is well known that humans benefit from exposure and connection to nature. LEED has acknowledged this and requires projects to create meaningful outdoor spaces. This seminar will explore the documented benefits of landscapes for health which are designed using evidence based design. Case studies of several landscape settings including healthcare, school environments and public spaces will demonstrate the principles and outcomes of evidence based design and specific characteristics which make projects successful.

We’ll be talking (on 10/5) about the characteristics, with examples and case studies, of restorative landscapes (any landscape, wild or designed, that facilitates health and well-being) and therapeutic gardens (a garden, in this case usually healthcare gardens, designed for a specific population and a specific site with a specific intended outcome). We’ll discuss restorative and therapeutic landscapes as addressed in the Green Guide for Healthcare, LEED for Healthcare, and SITES (the Sustainable Sites Initiative).

Our program was selected as one of Greenbuild’s “special sets,” which means we’ll have some sort of fancy stage set-up that facilitates more interaction with the audience and really shows off all of the beautiful images we’ll be showing. Should be fun!

And here are some other sessions that may be of interest to those of us in this field:

  • Healthcare 251: Understanding the LEED for Healthcare Rating System
  • Green Schools That Teach: Whole-School Sustainability
  • Healthy People, Healthy Planet: A New Vision for Sustainable Community Clinics
  • Biophilic Design: Human Impacts and Applications to Green Buildings
  • The [NYC] Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design
  • Why Research Matters: New Approaches to Measure Green Building and Workers’ Health, Stress, and Productivity
  • Reaching New Audiences Through the Green Schools Movement
  • The Launch of the LEED for Healthcare Rating System
  • Solutions for Healthy Cities: Resiliency and Regeneration
  • Healthcare Faciities: Building the Future with a Community Connection
  • Applying the SITES Rating System: Lessons Learned from First Pilot Projects

Hope to see you there!