A path for healthier environments
The difference between Evidence-based Design (EbD) and designs based on evidence is not only in the wording. It is whether or not scientific methods are being used in research projects that evaluate the impacts and influences of the physical environment on health.
Most healing architecture and EbD practitioners have literally implemented findings from environmental health and environmental psychology studies to their interventions; what Kirk Hamilton calls first level practitioners in his 4 level evidence-based practice research model. The most cited literature in this field looks at how environmental factors (such as light, noise, smell and temperature among others) affect our overall sense of wellbeing and health. Thereby, very few are the cases in EbD research explicitly show how architectural quality (variables) improve specific health-related outcomes.
For this purpose the EbD researcher cluster at TU-Berlin has been established, aiming to develop methods, tools and strategies to scientifically evaluate the impacts of built environments on health behaviors and health. In this direction, Walkability for Health and MedHoods are two research projects developed at this cluster carrying out own methodology and tools, the first to assess urban environments for health promotion and the second, to evaluate neighborhood-based care possibilities.
The challenge is being faced with a close cooperation and partnership between universities under the umbrella of the European Network Architecture for Health (ENAH).
For further information on lectures and courses click here.
Dipl.-Ing.Arch. MScPH Álvaro Valera Sosa
Tel. +49 (30) 314 - 21873