Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major

Architecture

Major Professor

Larry David Fox, Phd

Committee Members

Michael Mark Schimmenti, George Dodds

Abstract

PERFORM+FUNCTION: Proposal for A Healthy Public Housing Community

Architecture exists in Place, the integrated context of both the built and natural environments, including socio-economic, cultural, and political climates that influence our growth, development, and survival. As architecture necessitates around human purposes, it is important that architecture is built for and sited in an environment compatible for human well-being. My thesis focuses on human habitation and its immediate relationship with human health, assessing the performance and functionality of Place that have an impact on human health. Using public housing as the vehicle of my investigation, I will seek the appropriate application of architecture for the betterment of human health.

Addressing the issues of public housing presents a contentious challenge to an already complicated industry, concluding the low level of priority given to successful reformation of public housing. Nevertheless, research shows that residents of low-income public housing are more susceptible to and experience a disproportionate burden of health inequities by virtue of socioeconomic conditions, acute racism, exclusion, and poverty [1].

Public housing residents experience an accumulation of poor Built Environment Factors (BEFs) such as substandard and unsanitary housing, air, noise, and water pollution, proximity to noxious facilities, and limited connectivity to resources [1]. Environmental health researchers have found sufficient and suggestive evidence of association linked to BEFs of Place that negatively impact overall human health.

Among these BEFs, many are appropriate to architectural planning and application towards the development of a healthy community. Using the implications of my research, I will develop a model for the advancement of healthy, sustainable communities that foster a high quality of overall health that is adaptable to diverse neighborhood contexts.

[1] Environmental Health Perspectives, v110, Supplement 2, April 2002

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