Master of Philosophy Heikkilä Miia

104800 €

Walking through forests and urban green spaces: The synergy of restorative environmental experiences and regenerative design in Finland and Japan

In this research project, the aim is to explore the affordances in the context of restorative experiences in forests and urban green spaces in Finland and Japan, with a specific focus on the connections between human and environmental well-being. I seek to explore how the qualities present in forests and urban green spaces not only offer restorative affordances to the visitors but also how these affordances are related to the well-being of the environment itself. The core research question at hand is: What are the visible and invisible affordances associated with restorative experiences in forests and urban green spaces, and how can we establish synergy between this knowledge and the design/maintenace of restorative and regenerative spaces? The research methods selected for this study involve phenomenological on-site visits and online interviews with at least 20 Finnish and Japanese participants conducted in Finland and Japan. The study also includes a cross-disciplinary analysis with stakeholders from diverse fields such as regenerative design, climate change, environmental psychology, and biodiversity. The rationale behind choosing this approach is to comprehend the interplay between restorative experiences and the well-being of ecosystems, with a specific focus on how to integrate and harness this synergy within the context of design. Through a conscious acknowledgment of the cultural significance attributed to forests and urban green spaces as well as cross-disciplinary analysis, this study paves the way for the development of environments that foster comprehensive well-being of humans and the environment.