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Don’t make power an afterthought in green space designs
Creating relaxing respite areas and useful event spaces encourages people to spend more time outside

The majority of U.S. adults spend less than five hours per week outside, according to the “Nature of Americans” research study, which surveyed the behavior of 12,000 individuals.


The most commonly cited reasons include:

  1. The places where they work, live and go to school generally do not encourage contact with the natural world.
  2. A myriad of competing priorities and activities push experiences in nature to the side.

 

The results of this study are concerning because spending time in nature improves mood, focus, creativity and wellness-related body metrics.

 

In fact, researchers at the University of East Anglia in the United Arab Emirates collected data from 20 countries to see how exposure to green spaces affects our overall health.

 

The University of East Anglia’s research study proved spending time in outdoor green spaces, defined as “open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation as well as urban greenspaces, parks and street greenery,” has significant long-term health benefits.

 

The comprehensive study, which included more than 290 million people worldwide, found that, “Spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and increases sleep duration. People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress.”

 

Landscape architects can make green space accessible to all Americans by turning city right-of-ways, gardens and parks into safe, productive and rejuvenating spaces.

 

Design with the end-users in mind

When designing green spaces, landscape architects should consider how the area may be used. Small respite areas can be enhanced with shaded benches, soothing water features, ambient lighting and speaker systems, to create an atmosphere that encourages people to stay and relax. Larger green spaces may be tapped for outdoor corporate events, community festivals, concerts or weddings, where people can gather and socialize.


All too often, the electricity needed to support the outdoor space is an afterthought. This leads to the use of temporary power solutions, like portable generators and extension cords. These work-arounds are unsightly and unsafe.

 

 


Landscape Architects

Outdoor power outlets should be an integral part of every landscape architect’s original site plans. These landscape designs can include UL listed, permanent power solutions, like in-ground electrical boxes or mobile charging stations, that are safe and reliable. Because permanent power solutions are durable enough to withstand seasonal climate changes and can be operated in a variety of weather conditions, they support outdoor activities all year long.

 

 


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About Legrand

Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and network infrastructure solutions. Legrand transforms spaces where people live and work and delivers access to power, light and data to millions of spaces around the world.

 

Legrand is an approved LA CES™ provider. Earn PDH (Professional Development Hours) through our approved LA CES™ courses. Learn more.

 

Sources:

“The Nature of Americans study.” Retrieved from https://natureofamericans.org/findings.

“The Top Landscape Trends of 2018.” (Feb. 12, 2018.) Building Design + Construction. Retrieved from https://www.bdcnetwork.com/top-landscape-trends-2018.

“U.S. Study Shows Widening Disconnect with Nature, and Potential Solutions.” (April 27, 2017.) Yale Environment 360. Retrieved from https://e360.yale.edu/digest/u-s-study-shows-widening-disconnect-with-nature-and-potential-solutions.

Loria, Kevin. (April 22, 2018.) “Being outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure — here are 12 science-backed reasons to spend more time outdoors.” Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spending-more-time-outside-is-healthy-2017-7-with-all-this-its-not-surprising-that-outdoor-time-is-associated-with-a-lower-overall-risk-of-early-death-12.