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Labyrinths, barefoot gardens and eruvs: Healing landscapes for spiritual renewal in the city

Jody Rosenblatt Naderi, RLA, MLA, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College of Architecture, Langford Hall, College Station, TX 77845, 979-458-0103, jrnaderi@tamu.edu


Cities have become harsh places. Walking is often a form of relief selected for preventive, curative and spiritual health. What is the effect of the urban landscape on the healing intentions of people walking? The eruv, the labyrinth and the barefoot garden represent three types of walking landscapes designed for spiritual health purposes. Study of the form, development and use of these landscapes set in the vernacular landscape of the community, suggest that the urban landscape can integrate more places for walking for spiritual renewal. Protecting places of significant spiritual value as well as creating places for spiritual renewal contributes to overall community health. Examples of these landscapes are described and compared with beautiful drawings and images to illustrate how the need for spiritual renewal at the community level is being addressed and implemented by various religious and community organizations around the world. Results of intercept surveys of people walking for spiritual purposes is presented.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Community Building, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The Impact of Natural Environment and Social Connection on Human Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA