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Research article, 2008

The perceived restorativeness of gardens : assessing the restorativeness of a mixed built and natural scene type

Tenngart Ivarsson, Carina; Hagerhall, Caroline M.


Natural environments have been found more restorative than built environments but studies have also highlighted mixed built and natural environments. The aims were to examine the perceived restorativeness of gardens, and evaluate the performance of the Perceived Restorativeness Scale, PRS, when applied to two examples from the same mixed built natural scene type rather than to a contrast between built and natural. The results show that the gardens are perceived restorative and the PRS also proved itself capable of discriminating between the two gardens. This points to the PRS being a useful tool and emphasizes the shortcomings of broad scene type definitions. The results show that one scene type can include environments that are significantly different in perceived restorativeness. This underlines the need to collect data on a greater number of both different scene types and examples within every type, as well as to have more controlled definitions of content and scene types to understand the relationship between the physical expression of a place and its potential of being restorative. The results show that the PRS is sensitive to place characteristics at subscale level, showing a high Being away score for both gardens and a Scope score that differed substantially. The results show a high correlation between restorativeness and preference.

Published in

Urban forestry & urban greening
2008, number: 7
Publisher: Elsevier GmbH

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