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Students took a tour of the University of Toronto’s green spaces this week as part of a Living Architecture Tour. The tours were organized by Jonathan Silver, founder of the Living Architecture Tour, and Jess Dawe from the U of T Sustainability Office. Silver discussed the important psychological and environmental benefits of having green spaces, and specifically what benefits they could offer students.
Living architecture offers a multi-sensory experience and allows students to experience a sensory interaction with nature in an otherwise dull, disconnected environment. According to Dawe, green spaces in a workplace environment have been shown to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. On a university campus, green spaces can help students and staff to feel more relaxed.
“The benefits for students I can classify as psychological benefits, and it’s particularly what I was saying about the multi sensory experience,” said Silver. “Green living infrastructure, green walls especially, you can smell them and you can hear them and you can touch them, and you can feel the humidity on your skin, and that sensory kind of environment brings you out of your head and puts you into your body.”
“So people who are always thinking too much and people who are thinking a lot and people who are students have a chance to stop thinking and to be in their bodies and that feels really good and it’s restorative, it reduces anxiety, it reduces stress, and that’s going to help students a lot, through stressful periods and to produce better work.” […]