Posts Tagged ‘University of Utah Environmental Humanities’

By Chris Peterson and Brooke Williams

THESIS: We propose that facilitating and investing in the creativity and imagination of the next generation is perhaps our greatest hope for a sustainable future on Planet Earth.

The ArtParks Experiment is designed to produce an urban parkspace development model for application in urban and suburban areas that is driven by grassroots processes involving art, local leadership, and a network of community relationships and resources.

BACKGROUND: Richard Louv’s bestselling book The Last Child in the Woods provides strong evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Nature Deficit Disorder, as he calls it, is the product of children not spending enough “unstructured play time in natural areas”. Based upon our own experience, we agree and think that imagination and creativity are the perfect vehicle for a grassroots approach to this problem.

In response to the idea that children in urban and suburban areas are the most susceptible to Nature Deficit Disorder, Great West Institute began work on rethinking the urban and suburban parkspaces and the ideas of David Sobel‘s place based-education. The result is a multi-phased pilot project dubbed (more…)


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