Green healing gray: The powers of civic ecology and therapeutic landscapes in transforming places of despair into zones of healing and care.
(University of South Florida St. Petersburg)
Paper short abstract:
Using the perspectives of civic ecology and therapeutic landscapes this paper looks at the impact of green landscapes as places and cultural spaces of healing and providing social and psychological sustenance for elders.
Paper long abstract:
This paper looks at the impact of green landscapes as places and cultural spaces of healing and providing social and psychological sustenance for elders. Using the perspectives of civic ecology and therapeutic landscapes it examines a range of transitioning practices and spaces of staying, moving, and (re)settling. It will include in a variety of cultural spaces from allotments in Europe, urban community gardens and creative environments for elders with serious disabilities.
A key part of the paper will take the results of my research on community gardens in New York City and Allotment Gardens in Oxford, England to realistically access the capacity of green spaces to have a healing and care function for elders in a variety of contexts. In the case of Allotments and community gardens the focus will be on the construct of Civic Ecology and its capacity to provide alternatives for psychological support for urban immigrant elders who are re-settling in new cultural spaces.
The idea of healing green spaces and gardens is an old one, dating at least to the middle ages and is still being employed in many kinds of formal rehabilitative settings including hospitals, hospices and prisons). The notion of "elder gardens" has been at the center of revolutionizing and humanizing such spaces in developing the "Eden Alternative", "Green House" and models for dementia care. These new visions of elder inhabited space, seek to reengage the social beings hidden behind medically constructed masks of failed personhood.
Staying, moving, (re)settling: transitioning practices, actors and places of care in later life [Age and Generations Network]