Most people spend a significant portion of their time at home, and the outdoor environment has a considerable impact on our wellbeing and resource use. Here we showcase a variety of homes and landscape amenities that are fostering social cohesion, connections to place, and environmental stewardship.
“This 175-acre, planned cohousing community was built sequentially over 20 years. By clustering the homes, 80% of the land was set aside for natural areas, wildlife habitat, and two working farms. Through its ethos, innovative site design, and ongoing restoration and education efforts, the community fosters sustainable living practices.”
“This adaptive reuse of a former manufacturing hub takes advantage of its riverfront location. The design features an interior courtyard for residents, artful stormwater management, a dock on the Charles River, connections to the regional trail system, and bike and kayak storage.”
“The green roof at this mixed-use high-rise complex, provides shared amenities like a swimming pool and gathering spaces for the 25-story residential tower. The roof hosts dozens of social events for residents each year, and 78% of the 108 residential and commercial tenants surveyed say they enjoy using the space.”
“This one-acre home site situated on a high-altitude, working cattle ranch features perennial plantings, a small vegetable garden, and various spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. Bioclimatic design strategies, such as the use of vegetation to mitigate wind and sun exposure, produce comfortable outdoor spaces for three-season useThis 2009 study adds to the evidence that well-designed open space increases the value of homes.”
“The presence of greenery supports the use of outdoor common spaces, which in turn supports the informal social contact that occurs in these spaces leading to the strengthening of neighborhood social ties.”
“This is one of the first studies to examine the effects of green space over time. The results suggest that the mental health benefits are not only immediate, but also sustainable over long periods of time.”
“This Excel-based tool allows users to compare the initial and annual costs of converting to a water-saving landscape by replacing conventional trees, turf, shrubs, and flowers with varieties that require less irrigation and maintenance.”