Connection to nature
I strongly feel that places where people have a connection to the natural world are the places which become the most sustainable.
I decided to become a Landscape Architect when I was studying Human Geography in the year 2002. It was a combination of the fact that I had spent 20 years prior to this date working on my childhood farm, along with my understanding of patterns of behaviour within society from my geography degree which resulted in the realisation that most people in today's western world were deeply deprived of nature.
Right from the start I have concentrated whole heartedly on our relationship of the natural environment: The reasons, the consequences and how we as landscape architects can carry out clever measures to reconnect people back to natural life cycles.
There are changes happening around us which I see all the time that I find very inspiring, and I think we are seeing a positive move towards restoring the environment and our interactions with nature.
However, I personally do think there is still a long way to go. From my perspective the word ‘connection to nature’ and ‘sense of well-being’ is not properly understood. I get frustrated when policy makers, experts and other academics try and quantify and make logical sense of this connection. For me there is a deep connection which we as humans will not ever be able to really understand. It just exists, it's powerful and we should carry on trying to integrate communities with nature. Above all we should not rely on numerical quantities and facts to make decisions on how nature works, just have faith that the natural environment has the best answers and look for ways where we sit in harmony with it.
To better express these insights I have created a social enterprise which focuses on the interaction to nature. Check this website here for more information.