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Burganov Igor. IMPLEMENTATION OF IDEAS OF ECOPSYCHOLOGY IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT

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Burganov Igor Alexandrovich

Ph.D., Professor, International Academy of Architecture,
(Moscow, Russian Federation)

 

Abstract

The article considers the issues involved in organizing an urban environment, to be comfortable and safe for humans, to meet the complex multiplicity of human needs and contribute to the development of environmental awareness. Examples of environmental design projects implemented for improvement of the urban environment are given, taking into account ergonomic, aesthetic significance and architectural features of the area, as well as ideas of environmental psychology. The author, a leader of the design team, developed and implemented projects for the improvement and design of areas within Moscow. Such projects provide opportunities not only for comfortable leisure activities based on people’s interaction with the natural environment, but also support for a nature-friendly lifestyle, thereby raising public environmental awareness.

Keywords: environment, environmental design, ecopsychology, environmental awareness

 

Introduction

In recent decades, throughout various fields of scientific knowledge, as well as in the practice of education, medicine, social work, and art, increasing attention has been paid to issues of human interaction with the natural environment. Issues involved in organizing the environment to be of maximum comfort and safety for humans, provide suitable conditions to meet the complex needs of human life, as well as education, treatment, labor, communication and recreation are discussed.

At the same time, modern concepts of environmental organization and human interaction with natural and man-made landscapes take into account the need to maintain ecological balance. These focus on minimizing damage to nature associated with economic activity. One of the important tasks associated with the implementation of modern approaches in the organization of the environment is the task of environmental education, the formation of eco-centric and nature-centric types of environmental consciousness [1, 3]. These trends are associated with the recognition of serious problems in the relationship of human beings with the biosphere; exacerbation of global problems of human survival, the growth of psychological tension, stressful conditions and diseases caused, along with other factors, by disrupted human relationships with the natural world.

Modern developments in the field of environmental design and art education, as well as environmental activities of artists, together with ideas of ecopsychology and environmental psychology can be significant factors in improving human interactions with the more-than-human world. This article presents some innovative projects in the field of urban environmental design, in particular, a direction we will call “therapeutic environmental design.” Such projects can be considered a sign of "greening" the activities of designers and artists, some of whom support the ideas of ecopsychology and environmental psychology, take into account research data in these areas and seek to bring to their work principles and attitudes characteristic of these scientific and practical approaches.

 

Environmental design. Examples of projects implemented for the improvement of the urban environment

One of the actively developing areas of environmental design, the development of which is influenced by ecopsychology, environmental psychology and some other approaches related to the environmental movement, is environmental design. This direction is associated with the historically established practice of modifying the environment by utilizing the recreational potential of various institutional environments and natural landscapes. Empirical observations and experimental studies of the impact of the landscape on the health and well-being of people [4-10], as well as principles from ecopsychology and environmental psychology [1,2,3] have given environmental design new impetus for its development in recent years.

Taking into account ergonomic, aesthetic significance and architectural features of the area, as well as ideas related to environmental psychology and ecopsychology, the author of the article and head of the team of authors (Burganov I.A., Pronin A.A., Baranchuk A.K.) developed projects for several areas of Moscow; to provide opportunities for comfortable leisure activities based on people’s interaction with the natural environment, as well as to support a nature-friendly lifestyle and raise public environmental awareness. Two such projects are presented below.

"The route of quiet rest"

The first project, “The route of quiet rest”, was implemented in Zelenograd, Silino district, 11 microdistrict, on the territory of the natural complex of the 16th quarter of the Kryukovsky Forest Park. A strip was allocated and cut through in the 16th quarter of the Kryukovsky forest park and looped around.

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Figure 1 "The route of quiet rest"

"The route of quiet rest" runs along the contour of the development line of the micro-district with access to intra-quarter driveways, passing along residential buildings and creating a ring that borders the forest. It was a design concept that was successful and attractive in terms of composition and function. The priority when choosing planning solutions was to maximize the conservation of green spaces, so the route was chosen taking into account existing plantings and the existing road-path network of the forest park.

When designing, it is possible to equip ITabletset with an intelligent lighting and security management system, including video surveillance functions and outputting audio and video information to a control room and to remote access points. The system has a built-in WiFi router, which provides access to the Internet, including third-party users. For security reasons, IP surveillance cameras are connected to the system. They are called upon to monitor the rule of law by broadcasting the image to the dispatcher’s console and recording it on internal memory and an external server. It is possible to connect “panic buttons” to communicate with the dispatcher, to call the police squad or ambulance. In addition, a compact weather station is connected to the controller, which provides the collection and transmission of weather data (temperature, pressure, humidity, gas contamination) to the server.

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Figure 2 Information board with information about the types of birds that live in the territory of the Kryukovsky forest park

Along the entire route, park benches, bird feeders, information boards, recreational areas with various architectural forms, flower beds, and a platform for two dry closets and garbage containers are installed.Thus, the project ensures the recreational potential of the Kryukovsky Forest Park, integrating it into the system of residential buildings and the social infrastructure of the micro-district, providing significant opportunities for maintaining health and well-being and improving the quality of life of the population. Attracting attention to the local ecosystem, the species of local flora and fauna, and the accessible forms of participation by residents of the micro-district in environmental protection measures can also be recognized as significant effects of the project.

"Park of miracles"

Another example of environmental design practice is “Wonderland Park” in the SetunRiver Valley of the Western Administrative District of Moscow. The “Wonderland Park,” located in an open space on the banks of the river, was envisaged by the project as a multifunctional facility focused on the recreation and cultural leisure of parents with children as well as environmentally oriented pastimes of young people and other age groups.

To create a park ensemble project, it was necessary to understand initially how people of different age groups and different social communities (families, children and the young and the elderly etc.) rest in the park, what recreational spaces and in the park ensemble they need, what time of the day and year different types of leisure activities are provided. Taking into account the environmental design of the park, in addition to creating a two-dimensional composition of the plan, it was necessary to turn to the design of the functional spectrum of the territory, including various activities for visitors. This made it possible to organize the park environment in such a way as to satisfy the wide range of needs.

In its design, methods of pre-project analysis were used, the results of which were taken into account in the development of zoning. The territory of the park is divided into the following zones: (a) cognitive zone (village of artisans, zone for holding lessons in agriculture); (b) a sports area; (c) a playground area; (d) a zone of quiet rest; (e) the area of ​​the viewing areas; and (e) the main zone of the park.

Environmental design works were conceived of in two main categories of activity: environmental functions (practical component) and aesthetic value (artistic component). Both are embodied in the three-dimensional structure of the park and its detailed study (plantings, sites, structures). The area of ​​landscaping was 19,200 m2, including flower gardens occupying 451 m2

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Fig. 3 General plan of the "Park of Miracles"

The territory of the park is fully accessible for visiting groups with limited mobility. The park uses alternative sources of electricity. The project has a closed loop with lockable gates, which provides a full security regime, with the placement of indoor security posts.

The main entrance to the park is a stylized entrance group of chopped logs with two rooms for its protection. The windows are decorated using a traditional carved border. The development of small architectural forms and sculptures within the "Park of Miracles" was carried out by the author of the article.

Russian national motifs, the best examples of Russian wooden sculpture and folk art, were the basis of the general design concept. For example, the “Craftsmen” series is a collective folklore image of the figures of people engaged in craft work, which was popular in the territory where Moscow is now located. These are the figures of a potter, lace maker, blacksmith, and masters of weaving and painting. A series of small architectural forms on the theme "Fairy Tale" is made based on animals from Russian legends and epics.

The use of sculpture and the characteristic elements of folk art in the artistic and aesthetic design of the environment of the "Park of Miracles" has a strong rationale. Art acts as a mediator, regulating and shaping attitudes to the natural environment. Solving the many tasks associated with the design of recreational spaces of a megalopolis, environmental design contributes to the formation of cultural values, along with ecological culture.

 

Conclusion

Considering the design of recreational spaces in the context of environmental issues, we can recognize that the task of environmental design is to care for both people and the more-than-human environment. Designers need to create appropriate conditions to meet a variety of human needs (for safety, comfort and communication, health maintenance and enriching aesthetic experience etc.), on the one hand, while preserving the natural environment, its vitality and diversity, as well as cultural heritage, on the other hand.

The developers of the project used ideas from ecopsychology and environmental psychology in designing projects to support environmental lifestyles and consciousness. Modern environmental, eco-friendly design serves as a system of psychological mechanisms for the development of environmental awareness and provides the following functions:

  • development of environmental attitudes among the population;

  • correction of goals and strategies for interaction with ecosystems;

  • supporting non-pragmatic forms of interaction with the natural environment;

  • expanding human ecological space, a zone of personal responsibility for nature;

  • supporting environmental culture and nature-friendly lifestyles.

 

References

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  2. Панов В.И. Экологическая психология. Опыт построения методологи. – М.: Наука, 2004.

  3. ЯсвинВ.А.Психология отношения к природе. – М.: Смысл, 2000.

  4. Bachelard, G. (1994). The poetics of space. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, (Original work published 1958).

  5. Kaplan, R., & Kaplan, S. (1989). The experience of nature. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

  6. Kaplan, S. The restorative benefits of nature: Toward an integrative framework.Journal of Environmental Psychology, 1995a, 15(1), 169–182.

  7. Kaplan, S. (1995b). The urban forest as a source of psychological well being.In G. A. Bradley (ed.), Urban forest landscapes: Integrating multidisciplinary perspectives (pp.100-110). Seattle: University of Washington Press.

  8. Marcus, C. C. (2000). Gardens and health. Retrieved from International Academy for Design and Health website: http: // www.designandhealth.com/uploaded/documents/Publications/ Papers / Clare-Cooper-Marcus-WCDH2000.pdf.

  9. Tilley, C. (2004). The materiality of stone: Explorations in landscape phenomenology. New York, NY: Berg.

  10. Ulrich, R. S. (2002). Health benefits of gardens in hospitals. Paper presented at the Fifth Floriade World Horticultural Expo, Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands.

 

Reference for citations

Burganov, I.A. (2020). Implementation of ideas of ecopsychology in the urban environment. Ecopoiesis: Eco-Human Theory and Practice, 1(1). [open access internet journal]. – URL: http://ecopoiesis.ru (d/m/y)


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