DESIGNING OUTDOOR SPACES TO ENHANCE URBAN INTER-GENERATIONAL LIVING
The functioning and maturation of the human body, mind, and spirit depend on the quality of people’s ongoing experiences of nature. (Kellert, 2005) The incorporation of nature into living spaces can greatly enhance psychosocial relationships in inter-generational living. Healing gardens used in healthcare facilities have proven beneficial to people of all ages; medical and other scientific studies have shown that environmental design can increase a person’s physical and mental health. (Ulrich, 1999) Natural environments also prove to be beneficial to children. Play therapy helps children develop self-confidence, a positive self-image, learn to express feelings, and make decisions. (Framingham, 2013) Gardens are important and effective for fostering social contact as well as supporting emotional interactions known to mitigate stress. (Ulrich, 1999) Overall, nature can positively impact a user’s quality of life. A thorough review of the literature will help define how to successfully organize and layout outdoor spaces in inter-generational living. Maximizing the usability of outdoor spaces is essential for the users’ health. The purpose of this study is to explore how the design of outdoor spaces can be integrated into future inter-generational living projects in order to benefit the well being of all users.