Green space in hospital built environment. A literature review about therapeutic gardens in acute care healthcare settings before Covid-19.

Green space in hospital built environment. A literature review about therapeutic gardens in acute care healthcare settings before Covid-19.


  • Andrea Brambilla a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:39:"Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento ABC";}
  • Matilde Del Pio School of Architecture Urban planning and Construction Engineeringg (AUIC), Politecnico di Milano
  • Roberto Ravegnani Morosini Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DASTU), Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Stefano Capolongo Design&Health Lab. Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering (DABC) Politecnico di Milano


healing garden, hospital building, therapeutic green space, evidence based design, literature review



Background and aim

Hospital facilities are one of the most stressful environments and there is evidence that during Covid-19 having outdoor and green spaces helped medical staff and nurses to decrease the stress and anxiety level. Nevertheless, knowledge about the type of green space is limited. The aim of the study is to systematize the existing scientific literature on the topic in a specific time period.




Scopus, Pubmed, and Cochrane library databases have been explored in a systematic way. Following the Prysma diagram 25 studies have been included. Descriptive statistics and content analysis have been performed to highlight green typologies, users and functional area involved, spatial focus, relationship between users and space and vegetation typology. The different topics have been clustered according to Kellert’s biophilic framework.




Articles reviewed included studies from the 2000 to 2020. The selection led to the analysis of 25 documents; it was significant to understand the major areas of application (pediatrics, ma-ternity, oncology, hospitalization, etc) and forms of green (images, furniture, healing gardens, vegetable gardens, etc).



The present review highlight the main characteristics of green space in hospital built environment with specific focus on pre-pandemic situation.




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How to Cite

Brambilla A, Del Pio M, Ravegnani Morosini R, Capolongo S. Green space in hospital built environment. A literature review about therapeutic gardens in acute care healthcare settings before Covid-19. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2023 Aug. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 19];94(S3):e2023137. Available from: