A restorative garden provides occupants with an opportunity to connect with nature, contributing to enhanced mental and social health.
- A Restorative Garden refers to an outdoor landscape setting or area that is designed to support stress relief for individuals by providing a sense of connectedness with nature. The setting or area is not located adjacent to heavy motor vehicle traffic and does not have direct street views.
- Restorative gardens should be viewed as spaces where relaxation, restoration, reflection, and solitude are possible. As such, they should not be in heavily trafficked and/or highly visible areas, and should maximize exposure to natural elements, such as landscaping, access to water bodies, and/or views.
- Spaces that are designed solely for social interaction, such as areas with only dining tables, do not meet the intent of providing a natural space for solitude and relaxation.
- Vegetation and natural elements are required for this strategy, unlike with the Outdoor Space Amenities strategy, where natural elements are optional. However, the same space may be able to host both features. For example, a restorative garden may be within a section of a larger Outdoor Space Amenity or nearby park/open space.
- Within dense urban environments, traffic and/or pedestrians may be visible from the garden; however, documentation must show that the amount of greenery provided confirms the intention to create a pleasant space that prioritizes nature.
- A restorative garden may be located within the building footprint, but must be located on the exterior, such as in a courtyard or on an outdoor rooftop terrace, outside the building, or off-site, if within a qualifying distance.