We have all experienced it – some places feel so nice and interesting that we want to stay there. We feel relaxed and happy – it is places that we want to return to. Other places just don’t have that “magic touch” and we don’t feel like staying there.
What is this “magic touch” that makes us feel happy and want to stay in a green area? The Swedish researchers Stigsdotter and Grahn has found out that the ultimate green area has several or all of the 8 characteristic:
1. Many species – great variation of both plants and animals
2. Open – invites to different activities and social gatherings
3. Room for thoughts – calming and a contrast to the city
4. Cultural history – the historic place or monument
5. Peaceful – stillness, undisturbed
6. Invites to social life – invites to party, service is available
7. Safe – fence, you feel safe and wants to let your children play
8. Wild – unaffected and mysterious
If a garden or a green area have several of these characteristic it will often be more popular, higher appriciated and have more visitors. Especially the characteristic Safe, Peaceful and Wild in combination have a positive influence on the health of urban living people.
The 8 characteristics are described in a report that is looking at the potentials of establishing a new healing garden in Denmark. The report describes a model for this healing garden for people suffering from burnout syndromes.