Scholarly article on topic 'The Role of Nature (Green Space) in Parallel with Promotion of Relaxation and Satisfaction of Residents of Residential Complexes'

The Role of Nature (Green Space) in Parallel with Promotion of Relaxation and Satisfaction of Residents of Residential Complexes Academic research paper on "Health sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Health sciences, author of scientific article — Atefeh Deljooy Kooshali, Reza Parvizi, Amir Reza Karimi Azeri, S. Bagher Hosseini

Abstract Relation with green space and nature is one of the psychological needs of man. Staying away from nature is one of the problems with which the apartment-dweller man has faced upon replacement of detached houses, yards and personal spaces with apartment flats. This research is of case study-surveying type in which the data has been analyzed by using SPSS software. In this paper, based on the results of an extensive polling, the more presence of nature in a residential complex is highlighted, the more it will increase tranquility and mental health and eventually satisfaction of the dwellers in the residential complex.

Academic research paper on topic "The Role of Nature (Green Space) in Parallel with Promotion of Relaxation and Satisfaction of Residents of Residential Complexes"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 202 (2015) 361 - 372

ASEAN-Turkey ASLI (Annual Serial Landmark International) Conference on Quality of Life 2014, ABRA International Conference on Quality of Life, AQoL2014, 26-28 December 2014,

Istanbul, Turkey

The Role of Nature (Green Space) in Parallel with Promotion of Relaxation and Satisfaction of Residents of Residential

Complexes

Atefeh Deljooy Kooshalia *, Reza Parvizi b, Amir Reza Karimi Azeric, S. Bagher

Hosseinid

aArchitecture and urban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran. bFaculty of architecture andurban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran. Architecture and art faculty, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran. dSchool of Architecture and Environmental Desing, IUST, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Relation with green space and nature is one of the psychological needs of man. Staying away from nature is one of the problems with which the apartment-dweller man has faced upon replacement of detached houses, yards and personal spaces with apartment flats. This research is of case study-surveying type in which the data has been analyzed by using SPSS software. In this paper, based on the results of an extensive polling, the more presence of nature in a residential complex is highlighted, the more it will increase tranquility and mental health and eventually satisfaction of the dwellers in the residential complex. © 2015TheAuthors. Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-reviewunderresponsibilityofAMER (Associationof MalaysianEnvironment-BehaviourResearchers) andcE-Bs(Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords: Residential complex;nature; satisfaction; mental health

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98-911-244-4484; fax: +98-141-4233-8548. E-mail address: atefe.deljoo@yahoo.com

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.240

1. Introduction (Statement of problem)

A residential house is the center wherein humans live. "A house is a veil that establishes a correct relationship between outdoors and human biological environment considering certain conditions. One individual or a family must live in a house. On the other hand, some biological necessities require vital and certain elements, namely, sunbeam, green space and eventually his lungs need pleasant air, his ears need desirable silence and his eyes need enough light". Many philosophers are seeking for a look at nature leading to a respectful behavior toward nature accordingly. Since Alexander considers an ecology as a knowledge of objects, elements and the environment of humans being together. Norberg-Schulz is seeking for giving meaning to the environment fabricated through nature. Moreover, Nasr assumes that the only way, to solve today's crises in human societies, is to restore the sacred spirit to nature. In architecture, the most fundamental element is people. Thus, the meaning of each architectural work depends on to which extent it realizes comfort, tranquility and satisfaction of people and is efficient to fulfill their needs (Chermayof et al., 1992-14).

Humans have an innate tendency and inclination toward nature and feel peace of mind in nature. Edward Wilson, the father of sociobiology put forth the theory of environmentalism and believes that humans need to communicate with other forms of life and living things instinctively. Relying on this hypothesis, when the link between human andhis environment weakens, his soul and mental power collapse (Daily, 1997-41). However, we witness that upon increasingly growth of cities, humans do not feel themselves in nature any longer, and their tendency and inclination toward nature remain unfulfilled. The relationship between human and the natural world has been included in a specific and sometimes disturbing notion due to a wide range of environmental disasters, followed by uncontrolled growth of cities and social and environmental problems. Disturbance in today's city and industrial life doubles the necessity for tranquility. Nowadays, almost everybody who lives in capital cities instinctively feels lack of something in his life. This feeling is due to the artificial environment from which nature elements has been omitted. Unfortunately, in the modern world, extension of apartment-dwelling life results in neglecting the harmony between building and nature, feeling of loneliness of its dwellers. Eventually, relationship between human and nature has been significantly reduced. Humans always try utmost to fill this gap by driving nature to his life. In the recent years, a lot of studies have been conducted about the effect of natural environments on human temper. There are many evidences confirming that being in green spaces and natural environments or looking at nature and green spaces helps humans be relief from stress. For example, the patients who are hospitalized in rooms with a view to the green space recover more quickly compared to those who are hospitalized in rooms with other views. Moreover, on the whole, watching nature improves temper. While discussing residential environments, it is stated that natural elements inside a residential space or view of windows toward nature shall lead in the promotion of health level of dwellers. The US Green Building Association emphasizes that natural elements and green buildings have a considerable effect on decrease or elimination negative effects on the environment and its dwellers.

2. Questions of research and hypothesis

What is satisfaction? What are the evidences of satisfaction in residential building complexes? What are the roles of nature and green space in promoting satisfaction of dwellers? Research hypothesis implies that the more nature and green space contact with dwellers, the more it will promote mental health, peace of mind and eventually the satisfaction of families.

3. Satisfaction

Many individuals have a tendency toward those things that they could not have. Hence, due to economic or other reasons, they must choose a location to which they have little tendencies. When we choose something to which we have a tendency, our satisfaction is met (Gifford, 1999- 360).

3.1. Dwelling satisfaction

Amerigo and Aragones conducted a study in 1969 and propounded satisfaction as one of the main criteria for assessment of environmental quality. Thus, they defined environmental quality as "The environment of high -quality transmits sense of welfare and satisfaction due to physical, social or symbolic characteristics (Lansing and Marans, 1969-199). Satisfaction propounded as a general criterion for assessment of environmental quality perception Baba and Austin, 1989-780) (Ha and Webber - 1994-308). In new urban theories, with the presence of an individual in the city and the effects of the physical environment on the individual, his manner of relation with surrounding physical environment become of great importance. Considering the said viewpoint, the extent of physical success in space depends on the satisfaction of humans with the said space. Thus, behavior is the result of a complicated interactive effect between the two main groups and the difference among variables. The first one is the environment surrounding the human and effects on him, and the second one is internal conditions of the individual (Lynch, 20118). Different researchers have studied the effect of these variables on perception of satisfaction. Some individual and family characteristics such as age, gender and ownership influence environmental quality perception (Van Poll, 1997-163). The following figure indicates effect-oriented indices and excited emotional and perceptional reactions as residential environment conditions. The criterion for measuring these environmental impacts, assessment of satisfaction or feeling of being annoyed by an individual like the feeling of dissatisfaction has been defined with any element or condition that is assumed it has a bad effect on an individual or a group.

Fig. 1. Role of satisfaction in environmental quality assessment indices. Sources: Van Poll, 1997

Fig. 2.An experimental model of assessment of satisfaction with residential units.

Sources: Authors

4. Green architecture

The term of green architecture is primarily concerned the architectural approaches that benefit from environmental forces and facilities for providing tranquility in the internal environment of building. These approaches emphasize the visual and physical relation with nature. The phrase of "Green space" encompasses various and a wide range of concepts and meanings. For example, green spaces comprise those areas with plants or any other kinds of green things such as trees, shrubs, flowers and meadows (Sarukhani and Laghaee, 1996). Green architecture tries to control energies of nature, to hire them in the best possible way at buildings. It is intended to develop satisfaction among dwellers and to provide the required conditions for penetration of nature into the heart of buildings and benefits from different approaches for the achievement of this goal (Farhoodi, 2006-45).

4.1. Open space and green space

Separating residential or workspace of humans from land and settlement at height solves the problem of shortage of land in metropolises. However, it separates out humans from nature and land. This separation does not last so long. The tower-dwelling human seeks for his lost thing very soon. In spite of benefiting from the latest modern facilities, he wishes to live in a house with a yard and a small garden even it is worn-out. These wants shall not be changed to a wish in the imagination of dwellers of modern houses with one yard and small garden until they are separated from them .Primary settlement at high-rise buildings and look at far-fetching views and almost two-dimensional images of nature through windows of the said buildings is attractive. However, deprived of touching and smelling live and still elements of nature and not seeing the nature views creates a feeling of dissatisfaction for tall building's dwellers (Kan Yu Jin, 1996).

5. The effects of green space on housing

Nowadays, design and development of healthy houses and stable housing areas are of great importance from environmental and social aspects based on which many movements have been developed. Factors such as desirable environmental quality, benefiting from natural light, visual and physical closeness to nature and green space are all signs of healthy housing. On the other hand, researches have revealed that the dwellers of building complexes with the open space and natural elements such as trees, meadow, and the ones are more satisfied with their houses compared to other residential complex dwellers. Also, the former has more highlighted social relations with neighbors. Moreover, antisocial behaviors are less observed in these complexes less than other samples subject of study (Rodiek_schwarz, 2006-9).

6. Global approach for social and psychological structure of green spaces

In the past, there was a limited image of green space. These images were limited to a narrow water stream and a few flowers (Frank, 1979-11). Lack of a comprehensive framework and approach in this regard caused that the subject of open and green spaces and their effect on human mechanism is less taken into consideration. However, nowadays, the approach toward urban green space has widely been expanded as a spatial pattern in such a manner as this type of spaces could lead to the social, cultural and mental dynamism of citizens. Today, approach to green spaces in the European metropolises is an integration of modern structures and creating nostalgia in the said environments. Development and design of green spaces have been segregated from pure and physical space in such a way as nowadays these spaces are emphasized as a desirable place with positive psychological effects.

7. Mental effects of green spaces on human

From a mental aspect, the researches confirm that the human has an innate tendency toward nature and feels peace of mind when he is nature. Moreover, the positive effects of nature on physical and mental health of humans have been released by scientific societies. Kaplan and Rajer Ulrich conducted certain researches and came with this conclusion that closeness to natural space decreased stress (Kamel Nia, 2006-70). On a whole, when an individual is

affected by stress, he prefers walk in a natural and green environment other than an artificial environment in order to achieve tranquility. Rajer Ulrich conducted researches in mental effects of trees and green space on recovery period of patients at a hospital and came up with this conclusion that green space may shorten hospitalization period of patients and decrease recovery period of patients by 8% (Majnoonian, 1995-48). Moreover, nature and green space softens rigidity, aggression and materiality of the environment fabricated by humans (Aminzadeh, 2000-44). Relying on researches, windows with a view to vegetation and green space compared to uncultivated lands, promotes cognitive function of children. Natural elements such as green space are indirectly useful for human health. For example, in a rich ecosystem with a proper variety of plants, the possibility for spreading infectious diseases such as Lime is decreased (Duerksen_snyder 2005-33).

7.1. Psychological effects of green space development

Cities are always exposed to some urban pathological problems that have been identified as elements that are potential or cause psychological disorders. On the whole in cities, there is a congestion of people. Individualism and solitary are observed in performing activities more. There is a little intimacy among individuals and the feeling of isolation is governing. Thus, in many urban regions, inattention to human aspects in design and architecture of urban spaces endangers mental and psychological health of inhabitants. One of the elements that have developed such problems is inattention to green spaces. The effect of green space and view on mental and psychological health has widely been expanded in the recent decades. Different viewpoints have been put forth in this respect. From among the said viewpoints, one may point out the theory of stress improvement put forth by Ulrich. He believes that natural views have a tendency toward decrease of stress while the fabricated views not only protect stress improvement, but they may cause stress by themselves (Ulrich, 2002-122).

8. Research methodology

This research is among the applied researches in residential complexes. This article is intended to promote satisfaction by adding nature to residential complexes. For this purpose, we have extracted fixed principles from corresponding texts. In the next stage, we had interviews with a group of thinkers in the field of research and theorizing, planning, and design residential complexes. In this way, we could extra the most significant points and joint dependent and independent variables between thinkers and texts. The experiences of the authors were extracted and eventually, the contents of the questioner have been developed. Then, benefiting from the results obtained at the previous stage, it may be changed to principles for design by logical reasoning and using SPSS software.

8.1. Statistical population and sample population

Considering the subject of research, the respective statistical population consists of all residential building complexes of Lahijan County in Iran. The sample is a part of the population subject of study through which one may obtain certain information about the entire population. Following investigations carried out, three residential complexes in Lahijan namely Golestan, Nasim and Abnoos were selected at random as representatives of the residential complexes of Lahijan County in order to test the hypothesis. The said population consists 140 families to be changed to 180 ones for raise of complete reliability coefficient through an increase by 25%.

8.2. The contents of questionnaire

Multiple choice questions with five options have been drawn up. The main goal of this paper is to identify architectural elements that are in harmony with nature in nature-oriented residential complexes. In order to test the research hypothesis, fourteen questions designated hereunder have been codified in the questionnaire and corresponding information of three complexes and 180 families have been assessed. Then, the results have been analyzed in the form of 2520 statistical data using SPSS software.

Table 1. Questions of the questionnaire.

Hypothesis: Feeling of satisfaction with green spaces and nature leads to positive environmental effects (tranquility, happiness, and mental health) on users. In order to achieve the hypothesis, the following questions have been put forth in the questioner

1. How much are you satisfied with tranquility and vivaciousness resulted from green space of your residential complexes?

2. How much are you satisfied with natural light of your home?

3. How much does your presence in the green space of this residential space promote your mental health?

4. How much are you satisfied with semi-open spaces of your residential unit?5. How much do your yard and terrace affect your relation with nature and desirable view?

6. How much does the yard and terrace of your residential unit affect your tranquility and peace of mind?7. How much are you satisfied with available grass and flower the terrace of your residential unit?

8. How much are you satisfied with visible landscapes from inside to the outside area of your residential unit?9. How much does your presence in the open green space of your residential complex help you achieve peace of mind?

10. How much are you satisfied with the garden dimension of your residential complex?

11. How much do you evaluate the quality of the green space of your residential complex as desirable?12. How much are you satisfied with dimensions and area of the residential spaces available at this residential complex?

13. How much are you satisfied with the grass field of your residential complex?

14. How much are you satisfied with living at your residential unit?

Sources: Authors

9. Discussion and analysis of findings

Question 1: How much are you satisfied with tranquility and vivaciousness achieved from the green space of your residential complex?

Table 2. Satisfied with tranquility.

Table 3. Analysis.

Abnoos Nasim Golestan

Average 2.72 3.23 3.32

Standard Deviation 0.90 0.74 0.77

Variance 0.81 0.55 0.60

Total of points 109 194 266

Point obtained out of 100 54.5 64.6 66.5

Sources: Authors

Sources: Authors

Question 2: How much are you satisfied with natural light of your home?

Table 4. Satisfied with natural light.

Table 5. Analysis.

Abnoos Nasim Golestan

Average 3.02 3.35 3. 3

Standard Deviation 0.83 0.68 0.88

Variance 0.69 0.46 0.77

Total of point 121 201 265

Point obtained out of 100 60 67 66.2

Sources: Authors

Sources: Authors

Question 3: How much does your presence in the green space of this residential complex promote your mental health?

Table 6. Green space.

Sources: Authors

Table 7.Analysis.

Abnoos Nasim Golestan

Average 2.57 3.18 3.96

Standard Deviation 0.93 0.72 0.89

Variance 0.86 0.52 0.79

Total of point 103 191 317

Point obtained out of 100 51.5 63.6 79.2

Sources: Authors

Question 4: How much are you satisfied with semi-open spaces of your residential unit?

Table 8. Semi-open spaces.

Sources: Authors

Table 9. Analysis.

Abnoos Nasim Golestan

Average 2 3.2 3.53

Standard Deviation 0.84 0.93 1.05

Variance 0.71 0.87 1.11

Total of point 80 192 283

Point obtained out of 100 40 53.3 70.7

Golestan nasi m abnoos

Question 5: How much do your yard and terrace affect your relation with nature and desirable view?

Table 10. Yard and terrace affect your relation.

Table 11. Analysis.

Abnoos Nasim Golestan

Average 2.45 3.25 3.43

Standard Deviation 0.98 0.79 1.00

Variance 0.96 0.63 1.00

Total of point 97 195 275

Point obtained out of 100 48.5 65 68.7

Sources: Authors

65 48. 5

Golestan nasim abnoos

Sources: Authors

Question 6: How much does the yard and terrace of your residential complex affect your tranquilityand peace of mind?

Table 12.Yard and terraceaffect your tranquility.

Table 13. Analysis.

Golestan

Abnoos

Average

Standard Deviation

Variance

Total of point

Point obtained out of 100

3.28 0.88 0.78 263 65.7

3.08 0.56 0.31 185 61.6

Sources: Authors

65'7 61.6

Golestan nasim abnoos

Sources: Authors

Question 7: How much are you satisfied with the green space of the terrace of your residential unit?

Table 14. Green space of the terrace.

Table 15. Analysis.

Abnoos

Golestan

Average

Standard Deviation

Variance

Total of point

Point obtained out of 100

2.23 0.83 0.69 134 44.6

3.51 1.03 1.06 281 70.2

Sources: Authors

Golestan nasim abnoos

Question 8: How much are you satisfied with visible landscapes from inside to outside of our residential unit?

Table 16. Visible landscapes from inside to outside.

Table 17. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 2.47 2.51 2.45

Standard Deviation 0.92 0.72 0.84

Variance 0.86 0.52 0.71

Total of point 198 151 98

Point obtained out of 100 49/5 50/3 49

Sources: Authors

Sources: Authors

Question 9: How much does your presence in the open and green space of your residential complex help you with achieving peace of mind?

Table 18. Achieving peace of mind.

Sources: Authors

Table 19. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3.18 3 2.4

Standard Deviation 0.85 0.80 0.67

Variance 0.73 0.64 0.45

Total of point 255 180 960

Point obtained out of 100 63.7 60 48

Golestan nasim abnoos

Sources: Authors

Question 10: How much are you satisfied with the garden and small garden of your residential complex?

Table 20. Garden and small garden.

Table 21. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3.5 3.18 2.97

Standard Deviation 0.62 0.84 0.80

Variance 0.38 0.71 0.64

Total of point 210 255 119

Point obtained out of 100 70 63.7 59.5

Sources: Author

Golestan nasim abnoos

Sources: Author

Question 11: How much do you evaluate the quality of the green space of your residential complex as desirable?

Table 22. Quality of the green space.

Table 23. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3.27 3.11 2.55

Standard Deviation 1.15 0.78 1.06

Variance 1.34 0.61 1.12

Total of point 262 187 551

Point obtained from 100 65 62.3 61.2

Sources: Authors

Sources: Authors

Question 12: How much are you satisfied with dimensions and area of green spaces available at this residential complex?

Table 24. Dimensions and area of green spaces.

Table 25. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3.35 2.90 2.25

Standard Deviation 0.85 0.68 0.63

Variance 0.72 0.46 0.39

Total of point 266 174 90

Point obtained out of 100 66.5 58 45

Sources: Authors N

Sources: Authors

13. How much are you satisfied with the green space of the green space of your residential complex? Table 26. Green space. Table 27. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3.36 2.98 2.52

Standard Deviation 0.93 0.70 0.90

Variance 0.86 0.49 0.81

Total of point 269 179 101

Point obtained out of 100 67.2 59.6 50.5

Sources: Authors

Sources: Authors

14. How much are you satisfied with living at your residential complex?

Table 28.Living at your residential. Table 29. Analysis.

Golestan Nasim Abnoos

Average 3/28 3/23 2/45

Standard Deviation 0/84 0/69 0/67

Variance 0/71 0/48 0/45

Total of point 263 194 98

Point obtained out of 100 65/7 64/6 56/2

Golestan nasim abnoos

Sources: Authors

In this research, green space has been regarded as an element that leads to tranquility, peace of mind and mental health of inhabitants. First, we have studied the quantity of natural and green elements of the aforesaid three residential complexes. The results obtained from the said study have revealed that the presence of natural and green elements at Golestan Residential Complex are more than those of other two complexes. Furthermore, we have surveyed the effect of natural elements on mental and spiritual health of inhabitants. We have found that the inhabitants who have more interaction with nature and subsequently enjoy higher mental and spiritual health, and tranquility are more satisfied with their residence at the respective residential complex. Herein this research, we have witnessed that the presence of green elements will result in improving tranquility, peace of mind, vivaciousness, and mental health. These increase satisfaction of the inhabitants in their own residential complex.

lO.Result of assessment of hypothesis:

Fig.3. Assessment of hypothesis. Sources: Authors

11. Conclusion

Residence indicates a meaningful link between man and the environment. House, as a place for residence and relaxation, is one of the initial needs of man. House should be lace for relaxation of residents in objective and subjective aspects. In today's world, man's view of his surrounding urban space is only constituted of a lifeless, mechanical and artificial environment and the level of such artificial environment is increasingly developing as compared to natural spaces. The apartment-dwelling man has faced with the lack of construction of any open and green space, lack of any attention to the spatial quality, ignorance of environmental effect on man's soul. The individual no longer feels himself as before in the nature, and his relation with the natural environment and green space has experienced difficulty. Physical and visual access to open spaces such as truss and roof and green spaces such as trees and grass are among the criteria for satisfaction of dwellers. If the architectural plan has the possibility to access natural light and ventilation and exposes natural and green landscape, it will be effective in meeting the satisfaction of users. The proposed procedure, to achieve such a goal, is to highlight the role of nature in man's routine life in a manner that he can touch the presence of natural elements in all life spaces. It is concluded from this research that green space reduces mental stresses and provides happiness in physical and mental health of people. Natural landscapes can provide such a beauty which is soothing for our soul. By the relation of man and nature, life motivation increases which are followed by mental health and relaxation of people. In this way, open and semi-open spaces such as a balcony, green view, and green roof can be used in the design of buildings.

12. Summarizing design principles

Based on the findings of this study, it seems that following principles set forth along with other fundamental principles of design in residential areas will lead to dwellers' satisfaction:

• To provide the presence of nature and natural elements (such as plants, green space, sky, sunlight) in residential space and landscaping and designing inside and outside natural landscape.

• Architectural application of the water (using various facilities (transparency, fluidity, movement, flow, sound) in the inside, outside and enclosure.

• Maximum use of natural light in residential spaces by using architectural methods and facilities which natural light can provide for the designer

• Use of natural materials in the internal and external body of the residential space.

• Use forms with relaxation character

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