The role of landscape design in improving the educational functions of botanic gardens in Taiwan.
This thesis investigates the relationship between landscape design and
effectiveness of environmental education in botanic gardens in Taiwan.
Beginning with a review of the historical development and changing role of the
botanic garden, botanic gardens have been shown to react to the development of plant
sciences and to reflect contemporary human demands, such as commercial trade,
collecting habits and recreation. The conclusion is reached that after the Rio Earth
Summit the most important role of the botanic garden in the 21 st century lies in
Interviews with educators and those involved in design of botanic gardens in the
UK reveal that botanic gardens have been actively producing educational programmes
for different age groups of people and they have ingeniously incorporated interpretation
techniques into the sites and plant collections to send enviromnental messages. The
results of interviews with educators of Taiwan botanic gardens reveal that efforts have
been made to improve the educational function while serving strong recreational
demands of the Taiwanese people.
Surveys of visitor distribution in two Taiwan botanic gardens identify attractive
landscape features and popular activities conducted by users which lead to uneven
distribution of visitors on the site. A questionnaire survey of visitors' responses to an
exhibition focuses on the detailed relationships between exhibition design and the
effectiveness in attraction and informing people. The results shows that "attractive"
landscapes do not always need to be beautiful. A panel with an intriguing theme title
could directly create a sense of mystery to arouse visitors' interests to explore and
participate in the activity.
In order to maximise the educational outcome the holistic approach should start
from a collaboration of educators and garden designers. Carefully making landscape
attractive and narrative has the potential to assist educators to tell stories and send
enviromnental messages to the public in Taiwan.