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Thomas Jefferson University Research

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Abstract

"One of the hallmarks of cities with high poverty rates like Philadelphia is that children are profoundly disconnected from nature,” notes Kimberlee Douglas, MLandArch, associate professor of landscape architecture and Anton Germishuizen Stantec Term Chair in Landscape Architecture. “My colleagues and I are investigating ways to recreate that connection and then observe the effects on health, community engagement and other key metrics.”

Douglas believes that each landscape project must consider natural systems as well as social, historic and economic frameworks. This approach has driven her award-winning designs for projects such as the Cynwyd Heritage Trail—a rehabilitated brownfield rail corridor in Bala Cynwyd, PA—and the innovative, sustainable Linwood Avenue Neighborhood Park, in Ardmore, PA. It is also central to her applied research on ecological revitalization of urban neighborhoods and the benefits of nature for children in cities.

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