Miami’s Healing Landscape
If you have visited the Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami’s flagship public hospital that serves the underprivileged population of Miami-Dade, then you know that the campus is undesirably urban and devoid of nature. We want to change this. Our project will transform underutilized green space in the Jackson Memorial Hospital into a healing garden. Healing gardens are proven to improve patient and staff wellbeing by providing spaces for relaxation and psychological restoration while being surrounded by intrinsically soothing plants and trees. We want to create a quite space of refuge, where one’s senses are completely immersed in nature.
But that’s not all. Despite the adjacent private UM hospital having multiple attractive green spaces and courtyards, the lack of connectivity between them and Jackson Memorial Hospital means that most patients of the public hospital aren’t even aware that they exist. The segregation of green spaces in this medical complex is a social injustice to the patients and staff of the public hospital. Better connectivity is necessary.
We have identified a vacant lot that once transformed into a healing garden can both function as the sanctuary for patients from the confinement of the hospital, and as the missing link to the existing gardens in the UM campus.
Being a team of landscape architects and health-care professionals, we recognize that not all healing gardens are created equal. For the best results, we plan on doing thorough research and applying evidence-based design methods to create a healing garden that becomes a model healing landscape in Miami. All our work and research will be documented and published.
There will be several stages to our project. The first stage will involve patient and doctor surveys and review of existing scientific literature regarding healing gardens and effective design. This is also the stage in which we will be promoting the project to gain community support. The first stage will conclude with a presentation in December 2015 of the final design to stakeholders and the community to receive feedback and final approval to implement the garden. The second stage of the project will involve implementing phase I of our design. A community Build-day event in Summer 2016 will allow the public to get involved in the construction of the garden. This event will be coordinated with Citizens for a Better South Florida and Hands on Miami. The final stage of the project planned for completion by Summer 2017 will involve implementing phase II of the design once all additional funding is secured.
why we’re doing it
Jackson Memorial Hospital is the flagship hospital that serves the underprivileged population of Miami-Dade. Unfortunately, the existing outdoor spaces outside of the hospital are bare and incondusive to relaxation. Our proposed design will provide a space of refuge and relaxation for patients and staff, while linking Jackson Memorial Hospital’s main public plaza to a series of underused gardens that already exist in UM’s campus. This much needed connection will form a ‘healing loop’ previously inaccessible to patients of the public hospital.