Confluence Community Park: A Framework for Sensory Landscape Design

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The human mind and body evolved in a sensory world steeped in light, sound, odor, wind, weather, water, vegetation, animals, and landscapes. In an increasingly urbanized and digitized world, it is critical that human beings sustain this close association with nature. Developments in the biological sciences over the past-half century have demonstrated our interdependence with the environment. Landscape architects can apply research in sensory perception to create an immersive experience of environmental attributes that fosters well-being, community, and stewardship.This thesis was developed in three phases: first, to understand what research in environmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience reveals about how we perceive the environment through our senses; second, to derive from this research a framework for sensory landscape design; and third, to apply this framework to the design of a community park that connects the Green Meadows and Chillum neighborhoods at the confluence of Sligo Creek and the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River in Chillum, Maryland.