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VERTICALLY combating the trend of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in Inner-City Youth

VERTICALLY combating the trend of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in Inner-City Youth

Ali Plowman

on 8 January 2010

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Transcript of VERTICALLY combating the trend of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in Inner-City Youth

VERTICALLY combating the trend of
‘Nature Deficit Disorder’
in Inner-City Youth Woolly pockets in use at Downtown Value School, Los Angeles Woolly Pockets Nature Deficit Disorder The Problems Child Obesity Plants need oxygen in their soil in order to thrive.

Woolly Pockets are made of felt derived from recycled plastic bottles that allows the soil to refresh its oxygen supply.

The moisture barrier is made according to military standards for impermeability from 60% recycled plastic bottles.

They cost approximately 30 pounds per pocket. What is nature deficit disorder?

It's not a medical term, but a social trend.

Quotes from Richard Louv

"the human costs of alienation from nature, among them diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illness," (Deneen, 2009).

“We have entered a new era of suburban sprawl that restricts outdoor play, in conjunction with a plugged-in culture that draws kids indoors," (Sorrentino, 2006). A majority of inner city primary schools have limited green space for conventional gardens and are often seas of concrete or rubber. In the UK, around 27% of children are overweight, (Macnair, 2009). The Solution Vertical Gardens If inner city schools have limited space why don’t they utilise a wall for a garden? Just some of the benefits:

Health and Well-being

Plants create a healthier more relaxed environment directly affecting our physical and mental health, (G-SKY, 2008).


Vertical gardens can be used to teach our children about the environment and the future of building technology. They can perform fun and interesting experiments with it, they can learn about plants and animals, there really are no limits, (G-SKY, 2008). Vertical Gardens

There are 3 types of vertical gardens which are, (Newton, et al,2007):
- Walls consisting of climbing plants supported by a self standing system, an attached structure or by the wall itself.
- Hanging walls, where plants hang down off planters.
- Walls where plants are growing within them, whether it was accidently or not. Vertical gardens in Inner city
schools National Curriculum

Key Stages 1 and 2

Geography and Science -Interview a landscape architect on its potential in UK inner city primary schools and how we can raise its awareness.

The Landscape Architect

The study highlights the responsibility we have as Landscape Architects on outdoor education spaces to help address 'nature deficit disorder' and dietary issues in our children. It demonstrates that our expertise can really benefit the way the national cirriculum is taught to educate the future stewards of our planet. Conclude by producing a set of recommendations to try to get vertical gardens in inner city primary schools, where there is no room for conventional gardens.

These recommendations could be:

-Teachers may need educating on modern garden technologies, in particular vertical gardens and their potential as an educational tool.

-Raise awareness of vertical gardens in schools through the role it can play in the National Curriculum key stages 1 and 2.

-Implement a vertical garden in a school. The idea is it could then snowball across Uk inner city schools when its success is recognised in the media.

-If this is successful and there is growing numbers of inner city primary schools in the UK adopting the vertical garden, and in conjunction with national obesity levels in children there is potential to enforce policy. This could fasten vertical gardens in inner city schools where there is no room for aconventional gardens in an effort to help combat ‘Nature Deficit Disorder.’
Inner city case study
– Photograph an inner city primary school with no school garden (hopefully in Birmingham), and suggest what it could be like with a vertical garden.
- From the same school i will interview a teacher to discover what role they think it can play in Primary School education. Study Aims (Information sourced, Learning Through Landscapes, n.d.) (Information sourced, Learning Through Landscapes, n.d.) References

Deneen, S. (2009) Nature Deficit Disorder. Thedailygreen.com. Available at: http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/definitions/nature-deficit-disorder#ixzz0Y0z4bNTq (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

G-SKY. (2008) Green roof and green wall benefits. greenrooftops.com. Available at: http://www.greenrooftops.com/Benefits/Default.aspx (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

Huijssoon, D. (2008) Caixa Forum art exhibition Madrid [online] Available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dicknella/2364062260/ (Accessed 27/11/2009).

Learning Through Landscapes (n.d.) Learning Through Growing Projects in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Learning Through Landscapes. Available at: (Accessed 27/11/2009).

Macnair, T. (2009) Obesity in Children. BBC.co.uk. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/obesity2.shtml (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

Newton, J., Gedge, D., Early, P. & Wilson, s. (2007) BUILDING GREENer Guidance on the use of green roofs, green walls and complementary featureson buildings,London: CIRIA.

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. (n.d.) National Curriculum: subjects. Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Available at:http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/key-stages-1-and-2/subjects/index.aspx (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

Sorrentino, J. (2006) Nature Deficit Disorder: What You Need to Know. Education.com. Available at: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Nature_Deficit/ (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

Woollypockets.com (2009) Wally Living Wall System [online] Available at: http://cart.woollypocket.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1 (Accessed 27/11/2009).

Woollypockets.com (2009) Questions. Woolly Pockets Garden Company. Available at: http://www.woollypocket.com/qa.php (Accessed: 27/11/2009).

Woollypockets.com (2009) What’s in your pocket. Woolly Pockets Garden Company. Available at: http://www.woollypocket.com/blog/category/edible-schoolyards/ (Accessed 27/11/2009). Recession Money cut backs, has meant a lack of funding for school trips. Thus creating a greater need to make more effective use of space in inner city primary schools. Richard Louv No Space, No Greenery, No Nature
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