A methodology for measuring children's visual and non-visual sensory experiences of nature: child-nature-distance case studies within primary school spaces in Glasgow, Scotland

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Abstract

Proximity to Nature is essential to a child's development. Well-designed educational environments are crucial to supporting this proximity, particularly in the early years of schooling. This study measures children's experiences of Nature within three primary-school spaces at various locations in Glasgow, Scotland. The methodology for measuring children’s visual and non-visual sensory experiences is developed to evaluate the connection between naturalness values and spatial environmental qualities across varying ‘Child-Nature-Distance’ (C-N-D) ranges. The approach associates children’s multiple layers of sensory modalities with particular attributes of the spatial environment within primary schools to determine the level of naturalness that children experience, in both internal and external spaces. The study finds that children’s experiences are
significantly influenced by factors relating to urban setting, built environment master planning, architectural features, and interior design. The authors argue that the application of this method can support design decision-making for refurbishing schools at the micro level, and in planning urban development involving proposals for new schools at the macro level.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
JournalArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Sep 2019

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primary school
Urban planning
methodology
Macros
naturalness
experience
Decision making
Planning
child development
planning
environmental quality
urban development
macro level
school
measuring
micro level
decision making
education
Values

Keywords

  • naturalness value
  • sensorial experience
  • permeability
  • spatial environment
  • primary schools
  • nature syntax

Cite this

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abstract = "Proximity to Nature is essential to a child's development. Well-designed educational environments are crucial to supporting this proximity, particularly in the early years of schooling. This study measures children's experiences of Nature within three primary-school spaces at various locations in Glasgow, Scotland. The methodology for measuring children’s visual and non-visual sensory experiences is developed to evaluate the connection between naturalness values and spatial environmental qualities across varying ‘Child-Nature-Distance’ (C-N-D) ranges. The approach associates children’s multiple layers of sensory modalities with particular attributes of the spatial environment within primary schools to determine the level of naturalness that children experience, in both internal and external spaces. The study finds that children’s experiences aresignificantly influenced by factors relating to urban setting, built environment master planning, architectural features, and interior design. The authors argue that the application of this method can support design decision-making for refurbishing schools at the micro level, and in planning urban development involving proposals for new schools at the macro level.",
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