David MOTZENBECKER

Institution: Motz Studios LLC – USA

Contact: david@motzstudios.com

Keywords: Shinrin Yoku, Forest Bathing, Forest Therapy, Biophilic Design, Healing, Nature, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning

The effects of stress and constant exposure to cortisol are harming our bodily systems – Type 2 Diabetes tops the charts, along with obesity and heart disease. What causes stress? Long commutes; poor housing; poor neighborhood conditions, and poor workplace design; high demand/low control jobs; lack of access to retail, jobs, services. Our environments affect our quality of life. We – designers, wellness practitioners, forestry professionals, and policy makers – all help set the context for where health happens (or doesn’t). A solution currently on the vanguard is the incorporation of nature into designs that support health.

Researchers at the Center for Environment, Health & Field Sciences at Chiba University think that this need is rooted in evolution. Throughout our evolution we have existed within, and as a partner with, nature — we are comfortable and feel a symbiosis with it. By contrast, our modern “artificial” society is inherently stressful.

Place as Green Infrastructure can not only help your body become healthier by producing oxygen and phytoncides; but it can also create place for stormwater to infiltrate and be cleansed, people to ride bikes and walk, plants to grow, and habitat created. All that, and it can save billions – yes, with a B – on city budgets.

By understanding the benefits and metrics that have emerged from studying the power of nature to reduce stress; participants will learn about interventions to create green, healing spaces in and near urban centers. During the presentation participants will also be introduced to elements from biophilic design and methods of forest therapy. Participants will learn how these modalities can work in tandem to create remarkable and experiential healing spaces.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the qualities of a healing environment from the biophilic/forest therapy perspective.
  2. Identify specific actions that can be taken to create an integrative, immersive, and healing space.
  3. Learn about evidence-based studies on how spaces and nature affect healing and well-being.

Presentation: link