Phillips West DESIGNING NEIGHBORHOODS FOR HEALTH Stefano Ascari
Table of Contents
Introduction Project Statement Introduction
Phillips West 5 6
Context Demographics Infrastructure Site Conditions Sound Barrier
16 18 20 24 26
Design Opportunities Connections Paths Nodes Links
30 32 36 42 48
PROJECT STATEMENT We ought to plan the ideal city with an eye to four considerations. The first, as being the most indispensable, is health. Aristotle, Politics (ca 350 B.C.)
Today, many communities across the United States are facing critical challenges related to health While the days when premature deaths from infectious disease are behind us. Today we face a new challenge Hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from preventable diseases. During the past decade, research on health-promoting behavior has shifted from predominantly demographic and psychosocial influences toward a broader focus that also includes the role of the built environment (Sallis et all 2008). Americans across all demographics have been spending less time in nature over the past three decades. Two patterns stand out as indicators of propensity for participation in outdoor activities: infrastructure and peer connections. A report by Charles and Wheeler indicates that among youth there is still a preference for unstructured mobile activities such as biking and running over structured types (PE classes)(Wheeler et al 2009). The report revealed that youth with â€œnearby walking and biking routesâ€? engaged more frequently in outdoor activities. When juxtaposed with neighborhoods that already facilitate certain means of transportation, individuals are more exposed alternative means of transportation. Infrastructure and that the way our cities are designed ultimately affects the quality of the physical activities we engage in.
This capstone project explores the potential of harnessing community networks (undeclared social contracts between peers) and pedestrian favored environments as tools for shaping an urban landscape that promotes healthy living.
Diphteria Senility Cancer
No Deaths / 100 000
Diphteria Diphteria Gastrointestinal infections Tuberculosis
Suicide Pneumonia Nephropathies Diabetes Accidents Cerebrovascular Disease Noninfectious airwaive diseases
Heart Disease 2010
Main Causes of Death 1900 vs 2010 Source: CDC
Billion Dollars spent each year on direct and indirect costs.
Physical activity still the main driver for better health.
(source: American Heart Association)
Infrastructure increases adoption
In a Random sample survey of 1818 adults Brownson et al. asked about where people where physically active: â€œThe most common answer were as follows: on neighborhood Streets (66.1%), at shopping malls (37%), at parks (29%), on walking and jogging trail (24.8%) (Brownson et al 2001)
Two Strategies The World Health Organization has determined that health is a modern social justice issue and selected healthy community design as the primary strategy for reducing health disparities. One of the main strategies employed towards this effort is to promote preventive health care through urban planning. Only recently has research on pathogenesis (source of illness) converged with research on salutogenesis (finding the cause of health and re-inforcing them) (Barton, Tsurou 2000). Despite health not obtaining a central focus in contemporary urban planning strategies, there is ample evidence and research highlighting the effects that environments have on the wellbeing and health of the people that frequent them. To begin to dissect the “onion” that is health, a set of interrelational models might prove helpful in explaining the complex interaction between health and “total environment” [biological, physical, economic].
Engagement Interaction Visibility
“National research suggests that a person’s health is strongly influenced --as much as 50% or more-- by social determinants, including income, education, and neighborhood conditions.” Blue Cross Blue Shield 2010
economic, Cultural, and E o i c o nvir ral S onm e n Ge en tal and Working Conditi g n i ons Liv mmunity I nflu l and Co a i c enc So es vidual Lifestyle Ch i d n I oic es
Determinants of Health
Adapted from: Whitehead & Dahlgren
1 Sound Barrier
2 Bus Stops
3 Street Scape
4 Vacant Lots
5 Yard Space
This project proposes collapsing 5 neighborhood typologies into three key systems: Paths define the ways in which we reach our destinations. Nodes refer to origins and destinations. Links are are the joining of binary systems which intersect at nodes.
Node Link Path
nervous system, a synapse is a structure that permits a neuron “ “In(or the nerve cell) to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell (neural or otherwise). Santiago Ramón proposed that neurons are not continuous throughout the body, yet still communicate with each other, an idea known as the neuron doctrine.
Phillips West CONTEXT
Phillips West is part of Greater Phillips in south Minneapolis which is made up of four neighborhoods: Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, East Phillips, and Ventura Village. The area contains approximately 40 blocks situated between 22nd street and Lake street, Interstate 35W and Chicago Avenue. Lake street is a heavy commercial zone that intersects the South end of the neighborhood. Two one way corridors (Park avenue and Portland Avenue) intersect the area on N-S bound directions.
The area connects to Whittier through one pedestrian crossing over 35W and two connector streets (22nd and 35th).
Lake St. to the South and 22nd St SE represent the Northern boundaries of the neighborhood. The Midtown Greenway, an express bike lane that is partially below the grade of the neighborhood, crosses through the southern end.
Average number of cars or other vehicles available in houses/condos:
Average number of cars or other vehicles available in apartments:
Percentage of population below poverty level
Over the past three decades the population of Phillips West has become younger and more diverse. (source: City-Data)
Percentage of people that speak English not well or not at all Age Distribution over Time
85 Years and over 65 to 84 years 45 to 64 years
25 to 44 years
18 to 34 years 5 to 17 years
Percentage of people 3 years older in K-12 schools
Under 5 years
Phillips West Median Age
Minneapolis Median Age
Acres of park space within the boundaries of Phillips West
Hope Community Youth and Community Gardens Robert Eugene Sund Memorial The English Learning Center Student Farm Center for Changing Lives Community Garden
12+ Community Gardens
Tower Apartments Courtyard Garden
Kaleidoscope Garden Prairie Oaks Community Garden Ebenezer Care Center Healing Garden
! ! !
Loren on Park Patio and Sideyard Garden
Park Apartments Gazebo Garden
Urban Ventures Community Garden
Cristo Rey Community Garden
Beautification Gardens Food Production Gardens
Phillips West is segregated from most commercial zoning where food options are available. However, Urban Gardening is already very active and popular in Phillips West.
Franklin 5600 14200
Frequency of Bicycle Accidents
Average Annual Daily Traffic Volume 2012
In addition to the lack of grocery stores and green infrastructure, Phillips West suffers from the presence of an ominous and tall sound barrier along 5th street.
MNDOT must remove the Soviet-Era I-35 ugly wall on our western border. Replace the I-35 “Sound Barrier (sic),” with an Eleanor Roosevelt inspired “Green Shelter Belt”.
Phillips West Resident
Main Bus Routes
Marked Bike Paths
27, 39, and 5 are the main bus routes serving the Phillips Neighborhood.
Painted bike lanes exist along Portland and Park Avenues (both N-S connector streets). Additionally,the Greenway (to the South of the site) has an exclusive bike trail that spans several miles.
Also represented is the distribution of existing bus stops.
Density and proximity to bus stops Residential and commercial density varies within Phillips West with certain areas of high density being closer to the bus stops.
Connections Green Wall
Mobile Market Bus
Year round production
Bike Share Station
5th Ave S.
5th Ave S.
E. 24th St.
E. 26th St.
Seed // Harvest // Distribute
Paths take 3 forms. The first is the S-Street form. This is a 42 wide street lane that has been re configured to incorporate several traffic calming devices while also allowing an increased amount of pedestrian activity.
BikeWalk ConnectMoveRunTransitBikeWalk ConnectMoveRun
Walk Run Play See Seed Play
Meet See Talk
Walk Run Play See Sell. Exchange
Grow Seed Grow SkateExperience
[S]Treet Fresh Greens
Bike Lane Growing Structures
Map Key Food Wall
Secured Bike Lane
Shelter / Kiosk
Bike Share Station
S-Treets occur along 24, 26, and 27th. These human friendly landscapes guide users to new destinations that are integrated into the landscape of Phillips West.
Mobile Market Bus
Bike Share Station
Year round production
Mobile Market Bus
Bike Share Station
Year round production
Bike Share Station
Mobile Market Bus
The second form of path is along 5th street. Converting the sound barrier into a greenwall dedicated to food production, 5th street becomes a partial destination as well as path. Traffic lanes are reduced and restricted to certain hours of the day to allow for easy access to the new facility dedicated to the residents of the neighborhood.
Nodes are the combination of utilitarian and recreational uses embedded in the neighborhood. This design proposes a new planting scheme to gradually replace the existing elm canopy. The substitute will be composed of a family of edible species that encourages permaculture. Spots like Forage Park (point) will include orchards as well as custom planter boxes that double as seating elements during period of seeding and post-harvest.
Crabapple Malus angustifolia
Bartlet Pear Pyrus communis
Sweet Cherry Prunus avium
Asparagus Asparagus officinalis
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Kale Crambe maritima
American Persimmons Diospyros virginiana
Willow tree Salix alba
American Vettch Vicia americana
Chestnut Castanea dentata
Farmerâ€™s markets such as harvest share (along 24th st) where residents can exchange and sell fresh produce. Some are recreational spaces where young (and ageless youth) can enjoy the benefits of custom modular skateboarder friendly furniture.
To continue and sustain the legacy of urban agriculture that is important to the residents of Phillips West, this design looks at facilitating new ways of incorporating urban agriculture within and outside the existing streetscape. Paths are not merely safe devices that encourage pedestrian movement but also become utilitarian aspects of a neighborhood identity.
Espalier structures embedded along pocket parks and streetscapes: These are efficient growing systems that allow for scalability and control. They can be injected into the fabric of the street frame (where appropriate). The shapes of these can be flexible and allowed to adapt o the existing context.
Links Spots like Forage Park will include orchards as well as custom planter boxes that double as seating elements during period of seeding and post-harvest.
Some are recreational spaces where young (and ageless youth) can enjoy the benefits of custom modular skateboarder friendly furniture.
Spots like Forage Park will include orchards as well as custom planter boxes that double as seating elements during period of seeding and post-harvest. The binding element of all these spaces is that they are public and visible and engage the citizens of Phillips West. They create opportunities for interaction and collaboration. The object: to help build a community whose core is driven by healthy lifestyle choices.
Re-purposed bus shelters with shared ownership between the private and public realms help to bring fresh groceries to the tables of the residents of Phillips West. If you recall, the population of this area relies extensively on public transit while access to nearby grocery stores may not be ideal. Shelters can be composed of simple materials and assembled on site while also responding to the needs of the nearby institutions. I envisage some could be grocery kiosks, some could be bike storage facilities, and some could sell you hot chocolate before you board the 7 at 8 in the morning.
Steel I beams
Locked bike storage
Planter box + seating
Food To Go
LITERATURE 1. Frank, Lawrence D. Health and community design: the impact of the built environment on physical activity Washington, DC : Island Press, c2003. Print. This seminal work examines the close relationship between health and urban form in the United States. It also discusses why moderate types of physical activity should be promoted in urban design. The arguments posed by the authors support the framework of active living. As Phillips West, which is very auto-centric, continues to show evidence of a high volume of reported cases of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes, active living and physical activity are critical components in developing a design for this community. The authors make the case for moderate types of physical activities having a long term impact over high intensity types of physical activities. 2. Andrew Rundle, Kathryn M. Neckerman, Lance Freeman, Gina S. Lovasi, Marnie Purciel, James Quinn, Catherine Richards, Neelanjan Sircar and Christopher Weiss. “Neighborhood Food Environment and Walkability Predict Obesity in New York City” Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 117, No. 3 (Mar., 2009), pp. 442-447. Print. Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are closely linked with body mass index and obesity. This study sought to find a connection between neighborhood food environments and resident’s BMI using neighborhood walkability as a metric for causality. The results reveal that the presence of grocery stores is linked inversely to high BMI indexes across neighborhoods. For Phillips West, which has been zoned strictly as residential in the core and pushed commercial zoning to the periphery, this has strong implications for access to nutritionally rich food calories. 3. Barton, Hugh; Tsourou, Catherine. Healthy Urban Planning New York: Spon Press. 2000. Print. The authors, both active participants in the World Health Organization, bring a global perspective and shed light on the implications on health caused by detrimental practices in urban planning. Through a compilation of essays and case studies, the authors highlight the effects of existing inequities and disparities in health care and city planning. Phillips West, an under served neighborhood with a 34 percentage of the population reporting incomes below the national poverty rate, evidences many of the symptoms addressed in the book. The authors make a strong case for promoting health at the core of any urban planning project. 4. Robert J. Sampson, Jeffrey D. Morenoff and Thomas Gannon-Rowley “Assessing “Neighborhood Effects”: Social Processes and New Directions in Research” Annual Review of Sociology , Vol. 28, (2002), pp. 443-478. Print. An assessment of the existing research of neighborhood design and planning from the last two decades, this study aims to reveal some of the common trends biases
reported in the literature. This study questions the impact of “social-interactional and institutional mechanisms” as the source of variation in neighborhood outcomes. The authors also address some of the methodological challenges found in the literature with a special focus on selection bias. The paper has helped guide research and revealed some of salient critical challenges found in the literature. 5. Dubé, Laurette. Obesity Prevention: The Role of Brain and Society on Individual Behavior. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press, 2010. Internet resource. This compilation of essays examines the close connection between psychology, environment, and behaviour as they relate to consumption and availability of certain types of products within an environment. The first part looks at feedback loops and biological mechanisms which can or cannot be averted by environmental factors. The second part examines the effects of policy and legislation on neighborhoods and physical health. The author argues the case for a direct connection between economics and health and suggests a syncretic approach towards designing a response. 6. Almgren, Gunnar, et al. “Joblessness, Family Disruption, and Violent Death in Chicago, 1970-90.” Social forces 76.4 (1998):1465-1493. Print. While this study focused on a particular aspect (crime) it helped disspel certain notions and definitions about neighborhood boundaries. One of Sampson’s (See above) assesments of the literature is the fact that for a prolonged period studies were consistently locked to neighborhood boundaries, often arbitrary envelopes outlined by city planners. Almgren’s study revealed that more often, critical health conditions are clustered within the urban fabric influenced by more specific variables than the ones culled from census tracts. 7. Caterina G. Roman, Carly R. Knight, Aaron Chalfin and Susan J. Popkin “The Relation of the Perceived Environment to Fear, Physical Activity, and Health in Public Housing Developments: Evidence from Chicago” Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol. 30, Supplement 1: Connecting Active Living Research to Policy Solutions (2009), pp. S286-S308. Print. Clusters of affordable housing have converged onto Phillips West. As active living continues to expand, not much literature discusses its effects and results within the realm of affordable housing. This study asks wether perception of violence and crime has an impact on engaging in different types of physical activities. The findings show that perception of potential violence exerts an influence on determination to walk. Although the study is concentrated on one particular urban core, it reveals the implications that perception has on residents engaging in moderate types of outdoor physical activities.
8.Joseph M. Schilling, Billie Giles-Corti and James F. Sallis. “Connecting Active Living Research and Public Policy: Transdisciplinary Research and Policy Interventions to Increase Physical Activity” Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol. 30, Supplement 1: Connecting Active Living Research to Policy Solutions (2009), pp. S1-S15 This study discusses the ways in which research on active living and physical health is being translated to contemporary policies within planning agencies throughout the country. One aspect of my research is conducting a series of interviews with current planners working with both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. To enhance the benefit derived from these conversations, it would be helpful for me to develop a comprehensive vocabulary to better examine and understand how research is being implemented in practice. 9.Karb, Rebecca A. ; Elliott, Michael R. ; Dowd, Jennifer B. ; Morenoff, Jeffrey D. “Neighborhood-level stressors, social support, and diurnal patterns of cortisol: The Chicago Community Adult Health Study” Social Science & Medicine, 2012, Vol.75(6), pp.1038-1047. Peer Reviewed Journal. Examining all aspects of environmental factors affecting obesity helps to build a comprehensive picture of the conditions associated with morbidity and mortality. In this case, looking at biological stressors, in particular the ones affecting cortisol levels, may help achieve a better understanding of what impacts morbidity in disadvantaged communities. This research looks at the effects of stress hormones, in particular cortisol, because of their direct effects on them metabolic and immune systems. Cortisol, which is linked to diurnal rhythms, has only recently been studied within the context of population-based research, looking specifically at chronic illness as a starting point. From the study, physical activity was the only behavioral measure that had a significant effect on diurnal patterns of recorded levels of cortisol. At the same time, the study posits that individuals confronted by a wide array of stressors are more likely to have elevated cortisol levels which in turn is linked to susceptibility to disease. 10. Division of Diabetes Translation. The burden of diabetes in Minnesota. Atlanta, GA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002. This report reveals the statewide prevalence of chronic diseases, with heart disease, and diabetes as the most common in Minnesota. While these are also the most costly in terms of treatment they are also considered preventable diseases. The study also outlines preventive services and risk factors as compared between Minnesota and the United States.
11. Aesthetics, well-being, and health: Essays within architecture and environmental aesthetics / edited by Birgit Cold, Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, c2001. Print. A trans-disciplinary study of the relationship between theories in architecture, environment, planning, and health and well-being. This collection of papers looks at the way aesthetics affect individuals both emotionally and physically. This connects to the idea behind place-making as a background theory driving the development of a potential framework for Phillips West. 12. Mens, Noor. Health care architecture in the Netherlands / Noor Mens, Cor Wagenaar. Rotterdam: NAI Publishers, 2010. Print. An examination of architectural ideologies and theories associated with health care design as well as trends in societal perception of health care environments. Initially, research was developed by examining evidence based design linked to the development of health care facilities in the United States. The focus was placed on environmental devices shown to be significant in the recovery process of patients. The theory highlights the interpretation of public perception of spaces associated with recovery and health. 13. Devlin, Ann Sloan. What Americans build and why: Psychological Perspectives Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print. Looking at the struggle between community place-making and what drives development in the United States, this study reveals the number of oxymorons growing in residential ex-urban and urban spaces. Furthering research in place-making theory, this literature expands on what was gleaned from urban development in the past half century. 14. Speck, Jeff. Walkable city: How downtown can save America, one step at a time New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. Print. As active living promotes moderate and moderate-intense types of physical activity to supplement or replace regular mobility behavioral patterns, so has walkability gained more prominence in the study of neighborhoods and physical health. In this book, the author highlights the deep implications of small policy changes and their long term consequences. He also makes the argument for cost-effective mechanisms for implementing or retrofitting pedestrian friendly interventions into urban environments.
15. Fishman, Robert. Bourgeois utopias: The rise and fall of suburbia New York : Basic Books, c1987. Print. Supplementing research being conducted on the history of zoning in the United States, this book closely examines the nature of ex-urban development as it occurred in the second half of the 20th century. This book looks at the relationship between introverted city centers and suburban sprawl. The author’s reductionist approach by stating the “Fall” of suburbia is deceptive though because suburbia has not collapsed yet in the way the author expected, but rather has evolved into other typologies loosely associated with its genesis. A bit dated, this book serves as a historical background to the way American cities grew and evolved. 16. Lindsay Campbell and Anne Wiesen. “Restorative commons: creating health and well-being through urban landscapes” edited by. Newtown Square, PA: USDA Forest Service, 2009. Print. A collection of case studies and projects that explored the overlap between natural and built environments as they pertain to well-being and physical health. Promoted by the USDA forest service and using case examples as a starting point, the authors look at biophilia as a device for place making in and around urban neighborhoods. Fostering collective participation around stewardship of green spaces in a collaborative manner has ramifications for individual’s incentives towards promoting personal well being and health. For example, one case study looks at how urban greening can be managed as a tool for improving quality of life. The studies also look at resilience as an emerging mechanism for coping with stress in urban environments. 17. Donnelly. Impact analysis of solutions for chronic disease prevention and management 10th International Conference on Smart Homes and Health Telematics, ICOST 2012, Artiminio, Italy, June 12-15, 2012. Proceedings /. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, (2012). This compilation of papers submitted to a conference on Smart Homes and Telematics addresses the needs of elderly populations in rehabilitation and various physical conditions. Once design begins, the project’s framework would benefit from an inclusive method that addresses a wider gradient of population demographics. One of these segments is represented by the elderly due to the presence of several assisted living facilities present on the site. 18. Yingling Fan. “How Affordable is Transportation?: A Context-Sensitive Framework”, Report no. CTS Research Brief (March 2012).Electronic. This brief, preparde by the center for transportation research at the Humphrey School for Public Affairs (University of Minnesota) is a short introduction to the main challenges intervening in under served communities that are dependent on alternative modes of transportation. The brief outlines some of the time implications associated with each mode of transportation and addresses the physical ramifications of policy decisions. 60
19. Stokols, Daniel. Perspectives on environment and behavior: Theory, research, and applications New York : Plenum Press c1977. Print. By combing the literature, Daniel Stokols highlights some of the contemporary approaches in the study of environment-behavior psychology and how the discipline’s relevance has increased over the past few years. Environmental Psychology poses many questions about the way environment is perceived and engaged with from several perspectives. 20. Kaplan, Rachel. Kaplan, Stephen With people in mind design and management of veryday nature., 1936-; Ryan, Robert L.; ebrary, Inc. Washington, D.C. : Island Press c1998. Print. What sets successful design apart from failures to address anthropogenic needs in human environments? This seminal work examines the real consequence of not planning public spaces with human behavior as a focus. Taking from the field of environmental psychology, these two authors have created a compilation of typologies relevant to the development and design of urban spaces by tapping into the human subconscious and showing how sometimes spaces inadvertently affect users negatively or positively. 21. Sierra Club. “The New Majority: Pedaing towards Equity”. 2012. Electronic. This report culls national data to reveal emerging trends and shifts in non-motorized transportaiton, looking particularly at bicycle. It highligts some of the trends among specific demographics and also explores some of challenges reported with using non-motorized transportation as means for commuting to work. 22. Dunn, Andrea, Ross Andersen, John Jakicik. “Lifestyle physical activity interventions: history, short- and long-term effects, and recommendations” American Journal of Preventive Medicine An analysis of effective adoption of structured/unstructured forms of physical activity comparing between moderate and high intensity types of exercise. This research is critical in showing how adoption of non-motorized forms of transportation, which can fall in the low to moderate physical activity category, can be adopted by various communities.
Published on May 29, 2014