Contribution of Historical Persian Gardens for Sustainable Urban and Environment Lessons from Hot Arid Region of Iran

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Function should always be regarded as the most important subject before the consideration of form and space be fulfilled. The design reaches its level of aesthetic when it is able to integrate all the …

Function should always be regarded as the most important subject before the consideration of form and space be fulfilled. The design reaches its level of aesthetic when it is able to integrate all the required relationships in the design process with clear objectives. This can be seen clearly in the case of mud clay architecture in Hadhramout region, Yemen. The issue of material durability, traditional construction techniques, beauty, and affordability becomes the crucial factors that will be able to fulfill the user’s level of satisfaction, comfort, financial, and spiritual needs. Based on the architectural knowledge gained over the years, the Hadhrami local master builders have acquired brilliant skills and expertise to shape the regional environment and architectural heritage. They always consider ‘functional spaces’ before the buildings and houses are erected. This study investigates the use of mud clay architecture in relation to the design of the building function with its specific architectural form and space in Wadi Hadhramout. It focuses on the residential and religious buildings.

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  • 1. 2012 American Transactions on Engineering & Applied Sciences American Transactions on Engineering & Applied Sciences http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS, http://Get.to/Research Contribution of Historical Persian Gardens for Sustainable Urban and Environment Lessons from Hot Arid Region of Iran a* a Raheleh ROSTAMI , Hasanuddin LAMIT , and b Seyed Mysam Khoshnavaa Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti TeknologiMalaysia, MALAYSIAb Department of Construction Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti TeknologiMalaysia, MALAYSIAARTICLEINFO ABSTRACTArticle history: Sustainable development is a widely accepted strategicReceived April 20, 2012Received in revised form framework in city planning and urban green spaces have an importantJuly 03, 2012 role in it. Beside, increasing empirical evidence indicates that theAccepted July 24, 2012 presence of natural areas contributes to the quality of life in manyAvailable online July 25, 2012 ways. Also, urban nature provides important social andKeywords: psychological benefits to human societies, which enrich human lifeSustainable Architect; with meanings and emotions. In order to exemplify the importance ofHot arid regions; urban green spaces for sustainability this paper analyses someHistorical Persian gardens; historical Persian gardens for environmental sustainability andSustainable environment. citizens’ well-being. In this study, historical Persian Gardens were chosen due to their historical background as first sample of Iranian urban green spaces which are still being used successfully. Some results of a survey conducted among visitors of historical gardens in Iran are presented and discussed. The issues investigated people’s motives for visiting gardens and the emotional dimension involved in the experience of nature and its importance for people’s general well-being. 2012 American Transactions on Engineering & Applied Sciences.*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 281Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 2. 1. Introduction  Theory of sustainable architecture and urbanism is one of the contentious fields ofarchitecture. The idea of sustainable architecture is offered to answer the questions about qualityand types of relationship between design and environment. Sustainable architecture is a responsiveand active design toward environment and place features and conditions. Sustainable architectureuses its ecological capabilities to create a suitable and desirable environmental condition. Itincludes a mixture of aesthetic, environmental, political, social and moral values. Some studies onthe subject indicate that the concept of sustainability has a root in old customs and traditionalcultures of mankind. Therefore, traditional architecture are recognized for considering cultural andsocial identities and help a great deal in creating social, environmental and economicalsustainability. So, traditional aspects were considered in sustainable design philosophy. Furthermore, sustainability is also a widely accepted strategic framework in city planning andurban green spaces have an important role in it and considered as one possible step towardscreating sustainable urban environments (Costanza et al., 1997; Jongman et al., 2004; Opdam et al,2006; Jongman, 1995; Zhang and Wang, 2006). Also, open green spaces are of a strategicimportance for the quality of life of our increasingly urbanized society (Miller, 1988; Chiesura,2004). In fact, increasing empirical evidence indicates that the presence of natural resources (i.e.urban parks, gardens and forests, green belts) and components (i.e. trees, water) in urban contextscontributes to the quality of life in many ways. Protective factors of nature for physical,psychological, and social health of people and community have been emphasized by variousresearches (Takano et al, 2002; St Leger, 2003; Maller et al, 2005). Physically and psychologically,view of natural scenes or elements foster stress recovery (Ulrich, 1981) by evoking positivefeelings, reducing negative emotions, and blocking stressful thoughts and provide a sense ofpeacefulness and tranquility (Kaplan, 1983) and resulted in mental (Hartig et al., 1991; Conway,2000) and physical health (Godbey et al., 1992). Therefore, local people consider urban nature anddaily outdoor recreation opportunities to be the main factors that enhance their every daywell-being (Eronene et al., 1997) even if used occasionally (Solecki &Welch,1995; Thompson2002; Tinsley and Croskeys 2002; Chiesura 2004; Krenichyn 2004). Socially, nature canencourage the use of outdoor spaces, increase social integration and interaction among neighbors(Coley et al., 1997) which lead to trust, mutual understanding, shared values and supportive 282 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
  • 3. behavior (Loures et al., 2007). So, natural areas provide social, psychological and physicalservices, which enrich human life with meanings and emotions which are of crucial significancefor the livability of modern cities and the well-being of urban dwellers which is a key component ofsustainable city. Besides the aforementioned, the functions of urban nature can provide economic benefits forboth municipalities and citizens. Air purification by trees, for example, can lead to reduced costs ofpollution reduction and water purification, wind and noise filtration can lead to microclimatestabilization. Furthermore, aesthetic, historical and recreational values of urban green spacesincrease the attractiveness of the city and promote it as tourist destination, thus generatingemployment and revenues (Chiesura, 2004). In order to exemplify the importance of urban green spaces for wellbeing of citizens and forthe sustainability of the city where they live in, this paper analyses some historical Persian gardens.In this study, historical Persian Gardens were chosen due to their historical background as firstsample of Iranian urban green spaces which are still being used successfully. Beside, historicalPersian gardens are one of the well-known traditional methods in hot arid regions of Iran whichplay a role in works of beauty and aesthetic as well as compensating poor humidity to create asustainable micro climate for human living.2. Making Cities Sustainable  Nowadays, increasing in population, urbanization and the impact of urban areas on globalenvironment mean that creating more sustainable urban areas is essential to sustainability(Ozdemir, 2007). Now, the question is: what is a sustainable city and how we can make asustainable city? Whereas, there is no acceptable definition for sustainable city; therefore, the concept ofsustainable development which includes aspects of urban planning and community development isconsidered for cities sustainability. According to Bruntland commission (The World Commission*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 283Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 4. on Environment and Development, 1987) sustainable development meets the needs of the presentwithout compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’’. Also, Sibley(1998) stated that sustainability refers to “the continuing ability of the planet to meet the needs ofits living inhabitants”. So, some cities have been developing their own sustainability indicators andaspects such as “amount of public green spaces per inhabitant”, “public parks” and “recreationareas” which are often mentioned as important factors to make the city livable, pleasant andattractive for its citizens (Chiesura, 2004). But, from another point of view, developing moresustainable cities is not just about improving the abiotic and biotic aspects of urban life, it is alsoabout the social aspects of city life, that is about people’s satisfaction, experiences and perceptionsof the quality of their everyday environments and quality of life issues are central to all. To reach these goals, it is essential to follow all dimensions of sustainable development(environmental, social and economic). According to principles which were presented in TheEuropean Landscape Convention in Florence, 2000; to achieve sustainability, development shouldbe “based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activitiesand the environment”. Researchers (Beck, 1992; Sachs, 1995, Ferris et al, 2001; Loureset et al,2007) claimed that urban landscape can be very positively linked to sustainability policies.Thompson (2000) indicates that sustainable development seems to offer “landscape architects atangible way of relating their aesthetic, social and ecological values”. Urban green spaces benefitsurban communities environmentally, aesthetically, recreationally, psychologically, socially andeconomically (Grahn, P., 1985; Burgess, J., Harrison, C., Limb, M.,1988; Conway, H., 2000; Gehl,J., Gemzoe, L, 2001). Once more, urban green spaces are considered as key components in urbansustainability.3. Material and Method  Both, secondary (literature review) and primary data collection have been gathered. Primarydata have been collected through a survey conducted among residents of two historical cities ofIran where, a lot of historical Persian gardens still exist and being used actively by urban residents.To find the most popular and memorable garden among the existing samples, a pilot test wasundertaken based on residents’ preferences. The pilot test concluded Hasht Behesht Garden or/Bagh-e- Bolbol (literally: Eight Paradise Garden or/ Nightingle Garden) which dating back to 284 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
  • 5. 1660, in Isfahan city and Shahzdeh Garden (literally: Prince garden), which is created in 18thcentury, in Kerman as the most frequented. Respondents were randomly selected among visitors of gardens from various age groups.Also, personal attributes like gender, occupation, and educational background were considered.Respondents were asked to fill the questionnaire during their stay in the gardens, so the answerswould reflect their immediate experiences. Questionnaires were distributed on weekdays andweekends, in different hours of the day, and in different parts of the gardens. Responses formatswere either closed (multiple choices) and open ended. The questionnaires addressed a broad rangeof issues, ranging from motives for respondents to visit gardens, their activities during visit periodsand their feelings towards the gardens. Both descriptive and inferential techniques have been usedto analyze and interpret the answers.4. Results  In total, 252 respondents took part in both cities. Sample includes 152 respondents (60.31%) inEsfahan and 100 respondents (39.68%) in Kerman. In total, male gender constitute prevalentrespondents (57.5%). Age classes ranged from below 10 years old to over 60 and prevalent by20-30 age groups (48.0%). Most of the respondents had university degree and categorized asstudent in occupation. The mean of living period in cities is about 23 years (S.D = 16.16).4.1 Motives for Visiting Gardens  To calculate the data about people’s motives to visit the gardens, respondents were asked:“Why do you visit this garden?” The following alternative options were given: I visit this gardenbecause of its nature and vegetation, its diversity, its beauty, it’s fascinating, its restorativenesseffect, its accessibility, its silence, its familiarity, its representativeness and others. A frequencyanalysis of people’s motives to visit gardens showed that gardens nature and vegetation achievedhighest percentage (54.4%) among other options (Fig. 1). This motive reflects the need of naturalenvironment in urban context.*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 285Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 6. Im familiar with it 8.3% It’s a meeting place 11.9% A sense of attachment to place 17.5% Its silence 17.5% It is a representative place of city 18.3% Its visual diversity 18.3% Its accessibility 24.2% Its open view 24.6% Its restorativeness effect 27.4% Its Fascinating 29% Its Beauty 42.9% Its Nature 54.4% Figure 1: Motivations of gardens for visitors: Frequency distribution. Beauty of gardens stands out as second most effective factor for 42.9% of respondents. Thismotive revealed the relation of aesthetic attributes and people’s preferences and emphasized theeffect of aesthetic on preferences like other researches (See: Nasar, 1983; Lothian, 1999;Kaltenborn & Bjerk, 2002; Parsons & Daniel, 2002; Hidalgo, Berto, Galindo, and Getren, 2006). So, gardens became fascinating for 29% of the respondents. Also, aesthetic attributes canaffect place’s restorativeness (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989; Kaplan, 1995; Hernandez, Hidalgo,Berto, and Peron, 2001; Staats, Kieviet, and Hartig, 2003; Koole, Vnder, and Wulp, 2003; Galindoand Hidalgo, 2005) which was mentioned by almost 28% of respondents. Restorativeness effectsof gardens can create a place for relaxation and step away from daily worries, breath fresh air andrelax mentally and physically. Garden’s open view and easy accessibility were cited by almost 24% of respondents. Findingsalso, indicates that 18.3% of respondents visit garden because of its visual diversity and because itis a representative place of the city. 62.7% of respondents mentioned that these gardens are historicand represent a symbol for their cities. Hence, sense of attachment to these gardens was identifiedby 17.5% of respondents. Sense of attachment to a place result in a sense of belonging to towns andsociety and consequently enhance society’s health status. Silence of gardens, meeting people andfamiliarity option follow in decreasing frequency. Motives like garden’s silence and considerationof garden as meeting place reflect needs of experiencing solitude, as well as social relation andintegration. 286 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
  • 7. 4.2 Functional Aspects of the Gardens  Another aspect of gardens is how gardens are to be used by residents. To understand thefunctions of gardens in urban area, respondents were asked: “What is your experience and activityduring visitation of garden?” The following alternative options were given: I come to visit thisgarden for recreation, for sitting alone, for wandering and walking, for family picnic, to be withothers, to do exercise, to observe nature and to be part of nature. A frequency analysis of people’sactivity in gardens revealed that the most important experience which is considered by respondentsis recreation. 49.6% of respondents visit gardens for recreation (Fig. 2). This result denotes thepsychological effects of nature which evoke calm and relaxation as well as stress reduction.Subsequently, this confirms why 40% of respondents considered natural observation as secondmost important experience of garden. Also, 27.8% of respondents mentioned that visiting gardensis like being a part of nature. This result reflects again the importance of nature. For walking 4% To do exercise 7.5% For sitting 17% To be with others 22.2% For family picnic 25.4% To observe nature 27.8% For Recreation 49.6% Figure 2: Experiences and activities in garden. Family picnic (25.4%) and to be with others (22.2%) constitute another important aspects ofgarden’s function. These functions reveal the social aspects of gardens which encourage people touse urban green spaces as part of their daily life style and to be with others. Subsequently, increasesocial interaction and integration invoke trust and supportive behaviors. Other activities likesitting, exercising and walking follow in decreasing frequency and less considered by respondents.4.3 The Emotional Dimension of Gardens’ Experience  Another important research interest was to explore the emotional dimension of nature based*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 287Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 8. experiences, the benefits people perceive through natural contact and the relationship with theirwell-being. To explore emotional aspects of garden, respondents were asked to answer thefollowing question: “What feelings do gardens evoke you?” and the following alternative optionswere given: safety, freedom, comfortable, happiness, calm and tranquility, memoriesremembrance, feeling healthier, feeling that you are closer to nature and feeling that you aredifferent. Frequency analysis of the answers about the feelings experienced (Fig. 3) shows that“calm and tranquility” is the feeling most frequently cited by respondents, which accounts for 50%of the answers. The tranquil atmosphere of the garden inspires reflection, meditation, and a generalfeeling of harmony between one self and the surrounding. Also, it is assumed that feelings andemotions we perceive in natural environment are relevant part of our experiences in nature. So,integration of results of first important experience in gardens (recreation) and current finding verifythe assumption. Memories remembrance is another emotional aspects which was considered by42.8% of respondents. Feel I am different 2% Freedom 14.7% Safety 15.5% Feel healthier 19.4% Comfortable 21.8% Closer to nature 33.7% Happiness 35.3% Memories remembrance 42.8% Calm and tranquility 50% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Figure 3: Feelings and emotional experiences. Happiness is another feeling that gardens evoke for respondents, accounting almost 35% of theanswers. Also, 33.7% of respondents mentioned feeling closer to nature. Therefore, it can beproven that there is a relationship between nature and positive feelings like happiness as well ascomfortable (21.8%) and feeling healthier (19.4%). Feeling safe and freedom follow in decreasingfrequency. Feeling “I am different in this garden” was less considered by respondents (2%). 288 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
  • 9. 4.4 Garden Visitation and Well­being  For better understanding about the importance of natural experience for people’s well-being,respondents were asked to rank the importance of visiting gardens for emotional and physicaldisease like: depression, sadness, tiredness and sickness along a 1–5 points measurement scale (1,not important at all; 2, not important; 3, important; 4, very important; 5, essential). A frequencyanalysis showed that responses range from important to essential. Respondents believed thatvisiting gardens could mostly reduce depression (94%) as well as removing tiredness, accountingalmost 90% of answers. Also, results show that sadness (81.6%) and physical sickness (76.3%)could be better during and after garden visitations. Overall, findings revealed nature effects onbetterment of both emotional and physical disease, widely emotional ones. Table 1: Variables that Affect People Presence in the Gardens. Variables Very Much Much Less Very Less Not Effective Organization 37.9% 6.7% 6.7% 0.0% 3.0% Representative 37.9% 6.3% 6.5% 1.3% 2.4% Accessibility 27.2% 12.5% 10.1% 0.0% 4.5% Familiarity 27.2% 17.2% 8.4% 0.2% 1.3% Symbolism 28.2% 14.4% 6.0% 1.1% 4.3% Emotion 14.2% 14.7% 1.1% 0.9% 1.9% Activity 13.4% 5.4% 6.5% 2.4% 5.2% Memories 7.8% 8.6% 7.3% 3.4% 6.6% Naturalness 17.9% 6.5% 3.9% 0.6% 3.9% At the end, to articulate aspects of historical Persian garden that could affect people’spresence, respondents were asked to rank the importance of the following features for peoplepresence. Features include: garden’s organization, accessibility, familiarity, activity, naturalness,emotion and memory of respondents about gardens, garden’s representativeness and symbolisms.Findings indicate that all features ranged as essential one with different frequency (See Table 1).Garden’s organizations as well as representativeness are considered as most important features thatcould affect people presence for almost 37.9% of respondents. Symbolism identified as second*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 289Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 10. most important feature that affect 28% of people who visit these gardens. Most of respondentsmentioned that people visit this garden because these gardens are historic. Accessibility andfamiliarity achieved a same value (27.2%) for people presence in gardens. Emotional and physical(activity) aspects of gardens follow in decreasing frequency, accounting around ¼ of the answers.Respondent’s garden related memories identified as the last factor that could affect peoplepresence in gardens (7.8%).5. Discussions and Recommendations  The information emerged from the survey indicates that historical Persian gardens fulfilsimportant residents’ needs in urban context. Obtained results are according to previous researchesregarding people’s need to experience nature (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989). People visit gardensprimarily because they want to relax. Recreation is as an important need fulfilled in Persiangardens (49.6%). Residents considered gardens as recreational area which is mentioned inChiesura (2004) research and important factors to make the city livable, pleasant and attractive forits citizens and this is why ¼ of respondents carry out social activities like being with others andfamily picnic in these gardens. Social activities that happened in these gardens signify Coley et al(1997) results that nature can encourage the use of outdoor spaces and increase social integrationand interaction among neighbors which lead to trust, mutual understanding, shared values andsupportive behavior (Loures et al., 2007). Therefore from the social point of view, historicalPersian gardens considered by residents as urban nature and daily outdoor recreation opportunitiesare the main factors that Eronene et al (1997) believed could enhance every day well-being. Furthermore, findings show that the experience of nature in the city is a source of a large arrayof positive feelings to people. Calm and tranquility is the most important feeling that residentsexperience in historical Persian gardens. Besides, feeling happiness, comfortable, safety, freedomand even healthier were frequently mentioned by respondents. Results confirmed psychologicalhealth effects of nature on positive moods like pleasure which were indicated by Ulrich (1982) aswell as reduction of negative effects like anger and anxiety (Rohde and Kendle, 1994) which evokecalmness and tranquility and provide restorative environments that can help strengthen theactivities of the right hemisphere of the brain and restore harmony to functions on the brain as awhole (Furnas, 1979). In other words, people who have access to nearby natural settings were 290 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
  • 11. found to be healthier overall than other individuals (Kaplan, 1989). And, all these emotional andpsychological benefits contribute critically to the quality of human life, which in turn is a keycomponent of sustainable development (Chiesura, 2004). This is why respondents ranged theimportance of visiting gardens for emotional and physical disease as important and even asessential factors. Most of the respondents believed that during and after gardens’ visitation,depression and tiredness decreased and even sadness and physical disease could be lessened.6. Conclusion  In the context of this study, the role of historical Persian gardens as provider of social servicesand their importance for city sustainability has been addressed. Some results have been presentedof a survey aimed at exploring the motives and perceptions of visitors of two well-known samplesof historical Persian gardens. Some conclusive remarks can be made. First of all, historical Persian gardens as natural urban area fulfill many social functions andpsychological needs of citizens, which make these gardens a valuable municipal resource, and akey ingredient for city sustainability. Secondly, attributes of the physical environment interact with various human characteristics,such as socio demographics and people’s perceptions of the environment could affect physicalactivities and this in turn influences health outcomes. So, links among environmental attributes,physical activity, body weight, and health can result in environmental compatibility and sense ofattachment to a place which result on the quality of life and well-being. Therefore, valuation of the various amenities, social and psychological services of urban areasshould be integrated into project assessments’ procedure and be properly accounted for in policydecisions and urban planning strategies as well as user’s satisfactions, needs and theirrepresentation and participation in all aspects of urban life which are critical components in asustainable city.*Corresponding author (R. ROSTAMI). H/P: +06-177187197 E-mail address:raheleh.rostami@yahoo.com. 2012. American Transactions on Engineering &Applied Sciences. Volume 1 No.3. ISSN 2229-1652 eISSN 2229-1660 Online 291Available at http://TuEngr.com/ATEAS/V01/281-294.pdf
  • 12. 7. References Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London, SageBurgess, J., Harrison, C.M., Limb, M., 1988. People, parks and the urban green: A study of popular meanings and values for open spaces in the city. Urban Study 25: 455–473.Clark, E. (2004). The Art of Persian Garden. Crowood Press.Chiesura, A. 2004. The role of urban parks for the sustainable city. Landscape and Urban planning 68: 129-138Coley, R., Kuo, F., Sullivan, W., 1997. Where does community grow? The social context created by nature in urban public housing. Environment and Beahvior 29:468-494Conway, H. 2000. Parks and people: The social functions.Costanza, R., d’Arge, R., de Groot, R, Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Laskin, R., Sutton, P.and Van den belt, M. 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387: 253-260Ferris, J., C. Norman, J. Sempik (2001). People, land and sustainability: Community gardens and the social dimension of sustainable development. Social and Administration 35 (5): 559-568Eronene, S., Nurmi, J. E., and Aro, K. S. (1997). Planning-Oriented, Avoidant, and Impulsive Social Reaction Styles: A Person-Oriented Approach. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 34–57.Gehl, J., Gemzoe, L. 2001. New City Spaces. Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press.Grahn, P. 1985. Man’s needs for Urban parks, Greenery and Recreation. Institute for landscape planning, Swedish Agricultural university , Alnarp.Godbey, G., Grafe, A., James, W., 1992. The Benefits of Local Recreation and Park Services. A Nationwide Study of Perceptions of the American Public. College of Health and Human development, Pennsylvania State University, PennsylvaniaHartig, T., Mang, M., Evans, G., 1991. Restorative effects of natural environments experiences. Environmental Behavior 23: 3-26.Jongman, R.H.G., 1995. Nature conservation in Europe: Developing ecological networks. Landscape Urban Plann, 32:169-183Jongman, R.H.G., M. Kulvik and I.Kristiansen, 2004. Eopean ecological networks and greenways. Landscape Urban Planning, 68: 05-319Lothian, A. 1999. Landscape and the Philosophy of Aesthetic: Is landscape Quality Inherent in the Landscape or in the Eye of Beholder. Landscape and urban planning: 177-198 292 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava
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  • 14. St Leger, L. (2003). Health and Nature-New Challenges for Health Promotion. Health Promotion International, 18, 3, 173-175.Takano, T., Nakamura, K. and Watanabe, M. 2002. Urban residential environments and senior citizens‘ longevity in mega-city areas: the importance of walkable green space. J. Epidemiol. Commun. Health 56, 12, 913–916.Thompson, I. H. 2000. Ecology, Community and Delight—Sources of Values in Landscape Architecture. London: E and F.N. Spon.Thompson, C. W. 2002. Urban open space in the 21st century. Landscape and urban plan 60: 59-72Tinsley, H. E. A. and C. E. Croskeys 2002. "Park Usage, Social Milieu, and Psychosocial Benefits of Parks Use Reported by Older Urban Park Users from Four Ethnic Groups.” Leisure Science 24:199-218Ulrich, R.S. 1981. Natural versus urban sciences: Some psycho-physiological effects. Environmental and Behavior 13: 523-556Zhang, L and H. Wang., 2006. Planning and ecological network of Xiamen Island (China) using landscape metrics and network analysis. Landscape Urban Plan, 78 (4): 449-456 Raheleh Rostami received her MSc in Architecture in 2006 from Islamic Azad University of Kerman. Currently she is a PhD Candidate in Landscape Architecture in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Her current research interests are landscape design and its history and philosophy, peoples perceptions and behaviors with regard to urban landscapes and integration of public perceptions and values in planning and management of urban open spaces. Dr.Hasanuddin Lamit received his PhD in Architecture from Sheffield University, United Kingdom. Currently, he is an Associated Professor in the Faculty of Built Environment Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. His current research interests are urban design and history / philosophy of landscape architecture. Seyed Meysam Khoshnava is currently a master student in Construction Management in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. His current research interests are Green and Sustainability, and application of softwares such as BIM, Autodesk Ecotech, and Auto desk Green Studio.Peer Review: This article has been internationally peer-reviewed and accepted for publication according to the guidelines given at the journal’s website. Note: This article was accepted and presented at the 2nd International Conference-Workshop on Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design (ICWSAUD) organized by School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia from March 3rd -5th, 2012. 294 Raheleh, Rostami, Hasanuddin Lamit, and Seyed Meysam Khsohnava