Across the world, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as depression, anxiety, obesity and cancers are rising. While traditional hospital�based healthcare and treatment models will always be needed, there is a rapidly increasing understanding of the value therapeutic, rehabilitative and sensory gardens have in health promotion and disease prevention. Since the mid-1990s there has been increase in awareness of creating healthcare environments that function as efficient, hygienic environments that also have stress reducing characteristics. The use and benefits of therapeutic gardens has been understood to have healing benefits for patients in healthcare environments for more than a thousand years. The benefits of implementing natural and therapeutic landscapes in hospital and healthcare design, have been supported by studies indicating that creating a stimulative outdoor environment yields long term benefits including shortened patient stays, reduced staff turnover and improved staff longevity. With most healthcare facilities usually under strong pressure to control and reduce costs, whilst increasing the quality of care, it could be concluded that additional investments into exterior landscapes are viable and effective solutions.
The Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom is used as a design case study, testing the relationships between infrastructure and therapeutic landscape design to achieve positive results for human health and wellbeing. Results suggest that design interventions can redefine the relationship between healthcare environments and their surrounding context to promote therapeutic outcomes.