Panelists, Paper Presenters, Short Sessions, Pecha Kucha and Posters

A.

Edgar Adams, Professor, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, USA. Affordable Housing and Smart Growth in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in North America and also one of the densest. A majority of its low income population remains concentrated in urban neighborhoods - many of which date from the industrial revolution. The steady decline of manufacturing and equally steady flight of home owners and jobs to the suburbs has created persistent pockets of poverty that prompted the state to legislate a goal of making 10% every community’s housing stock accessible to families qualifying for Low and Moderate Income (LMI) housing. In 2006 the state then implemented a Smart Growth strategy that required all projects receiving public funding to be located within the Urban Service Boundary (USB) or in locally designated Growth Centers. Given the historic quality of many towns and villages in Rhode Island and the reliance on septic systems in areas outside of the Urban Service Boundary, these two policy initiatives were sometimes found to be in conflict. To further examine the nature of these conflicts, we undertook an extensive GIS analysis of LMI housing. We focused on the smart growth potential of developable land and the performance of existing development, while also identifying environmentally sensitive areas deserving of protection using criteria stipulated by the state. We then determined the development capacity of existing growth centers and identified potential new growth centers. This effort showed the importance of comprehensive and coordinated regional planning and pointed out key roadblocks to ensuring access to sustainable and diverse housing choices for all of the state’s inhabitants.

 

Dean J. Almy III, Director, Graduate Program in Urban Design, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA. Toward an Integrated Infrastructure: Reconstructing the South Shore Waterfront in Austin, Texas

The district known as the South Shore Waterfront remains perhaps the most contested and underdeveloped territory remaining in Austin’s inner city. Beginning in 2000, a series of initiatives intended to steer the community toward consensus over the future of the area was undertaken. First, a citizen’s task force study, followed by the establishment of a Waterfront Planning Advisory Board, was charged with stewardship of the area. Then, in 2012, the American Institute of Architects provided design assistance through a Sustainable Design Assistance Team. The SDAT study set the groundwork for a planning effort that was recently undertaken as part of a Housing and Urban Development sponsored Sustainable Places Project grant. 

This paper will present the result of the collaboration between the Texas Urban Futures Laboratory — an applied research initiative at The University of Texas at Austin — and the City of Austin, to develop a fully integrated strategy that aims to establish a balance between development interests and public benefits, in the form of new public spaces, the provision of a waterfront promenade, transit systems, and increased accessibility from the adjoining neighborhoods to the lake. A low-impact-development based infrastructure system designed to provide comprehensive ecosystem services to the new district, will establish an entirely new integrated model for ecologically responsive urbanism in Austin. These efforts have led the Austin City Council to finally approve a master plan for the area, and as a result of these efforts, the South Shore Waterfront project recently received a 2017 American Planning Association Sustainable Communities Division National Award.

 

B.

Stephanie Blochowiak, Sr. Environmental Planner, City of Fort Collins CO - Nature in the City program, Ft. Collins, CO, USA. Nature in the City - Toward a healthier, greener city

The City of Fort Collins Nature in the City (NIC) program is an example of a co-creation culture that is fostered in the unique sense of place of this community wherein residents, Colorado State University researchers, the business community and the City government regularly partner to foster the formation of this world class city. The vision of NIC is an interconnected open space network for all residents and the protection and enhancement of functional wildlife habitat in important corridors. NIC’s program goals of a 10-minute walk to nature for all residents, the protection and enhancement of high value wildlife habitat, and shifting landscapes in the community to more diverse forms help realize the lofty vision. In addition to working in the policy, research, and training realms toward a more biophilic community, NIC works with diverse community partners to fund and install neighborhood nature projects to better connect residents to nature and provide functional habitat for local wildlife. NIC works in high need areas where vulnerable groups are most disconnected and utilizes a community-led project development model and best practices for public engagement (e.g. bilingual services, childcare, multiple opportunities to make comments) to create culturally relevant and inclusive projects throughout the city. NIC also partners on more experimental projects including green infrastructure and through policy work such as night sky protection and land use and building code influence. The collective efforts of NIC and its partners are helping create a more vibrant, resilient, healthy and livable community.

 

Dave Boyd, Senior Planner, City of Bothell Community Development Department, Bothell, WA, USA. Big Time Revitalization of a Small City Downtown

In 2005, the small city of Bothell, Washington, embarked on a major downtown revitalization project. Spurred by the surplussing of 18 acres of school district land adjacent to the historic downtown core, an immediate challenge was how to do redevelopment on a relatively grand scale in a way that would build upon the small, but charming, Main Street and historic core. 

A community driven planning effort resulted in adoption of an ambitious plan incorporating a shared vision, City actions and development regulations in 2009, the city’s centennial. Since then, one major state highway has been realigned, another was decommissioned and converted into a European-style multiway boulevard, a stream that had long been piped has been daylighted, and the 18 acres, plus the old highway right-of-way, are being sold to private developers for new housing, retail, office, lodging, public open space and entertainment facilities. By the end of 2018, nearly 1,800 dwelling units and 500,000 square feet of commercial space will be built or under construction, with more in the pipeline.

This presentation will describe how the City worked strategically with residents, businesses, developers, local institutions and other agencies to complete key catalyst projects and recruit new businesses. It will also address ongoing challenges, including providing housing affordable to the whole spectrum of a community that is experiencing rapid growth and sharply escalating housing costs. The emerging downtown builds upon the traditional small-town core, creating distinctive places for community gathering, shopping and celebrations. 

 

C.

Mario Caruso, Grants Manager, City of Yonkers, NY, USA. The Daylighting of the Saw Mill River

The City of Yonkers is located at the confluence of the Saw Mill and Hudson Rivers in Westchester County. Once home to a bustling industrial economy with companies such as Otis Elevator fueling its fires here, our history is closely tied to our rivers. Unfortunately, much of our relationship with the Saw Mill has been one of neglect. In the mid-19th century, the river was tamed and built over in some places. A product of its own success, this once vibrant river that meandered through land formerly known to the Lenape Indians as ‘Neppackamack’, was transformed into a nuisance and means of garbage disposal.

In the mid-20th century, Yonkers saw much of its industry leave for southern states; however, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the Saw Mill was addressed. At this point, the City began to understand the importance of bringing nature back into downtown and providing the community with the open space it needed. The Saw Mill Daylighting has accomplished this goal by connected Yonkers residents back to the thriving river that so long ago was forgotten. Since completion of the first phase in September 2012, subsequent phases have been completed in June 2016 and most recently October 2018 at three locations within the downtown. The project uses innovative techniques to improve water quality including stone filtration, pervious pavement, eel ladders, rain gardens, and an electricity generating water wheel. In addition to environmental benefits, the daylighting has given Yonkers an economic boost spurring development along its path.

 

Chak Yiu Carlo Chan, PhD candidate, University of Sheffield, UK. Greying in the Orient – how age-friendliness is being implemented in the case of Hong Kong 

Age-friendliness has been an increasingly significant concept in recent decades as the global population is continuously ageing. In 2007, the WHO published Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide, providing guidelines on how to make urban areas and neighbourhoods better able to meet the needs of ageing societies. A key question is how well it is applied in different political, social and cultural contexts, towards the goal of creating a better environment to grow older. sThis study adopts a qualitative case study approach, which is in the form of in-depth interviews, field observation, participatory observation, and document analysis. In particular, the district of Sai Kung will be used as an example to illustrate how the concept of age-friendliness is manifested on a community level. From the story of Duckling Hill, it is found out that the local age-friendly work heavily relies on bottom-up efforts, whereas the support from a top-down level is minimal. Nevertheless, this case demonstrates the significant impact that older people are able to bring to the community through empowerment and collaborative efforts. This paper then concludes by suggesting a life course approach in understanding aging and age-friendliness.

 

D.

Jennifer Donovan, Principal, PIA, Albert Park, AUSTRALIA. Is your experiences diet making you fat?

The sum of the day to day things that make up our lives; where we go, how we go there, what we feel might be considered our experiences diet. Just like our food diet our experience diet needs to have balance, not too much or too little, many good things (exercise, interactions, inspiration, opportunities for self determination and expression, etc) and limited bad things (stress, isolation, pollution, etc). Our towns and cities present us with the settings and opportunities for the experiences we enjoy, endure or miss out. This paper will explore the characteristics of the built environment that enable us to enjoy a healthy experience diet where we are empowered to meet all our needs are met.

 

F.

Patricia Farrell, Parks and Natural Resource Planning Manager, City of Salem, Oregon, USA. Growing an Urban Forestry Program in Salem Oregon

Since 2010 the City of Salem, Oregon, has been focusing on improving its urban forestry program through increased funding, community engagement, mapping, and assessment. The enhanced effort stemmed from a tree canopy analysis conducted in 2010 that showed the city had a relatively low tree canopy coverage compared to other comparable cities. Recognizing the documented benefits of trees to the urban environment and city residents, the City began a focused effort to expand and enhance Salem’s tree canopy. 

To date these efforts include:
• Analyzing tree canopy coverage by urban watershed and by neighborhood associations;
• Forming a citizen and technical advisory committee to establish a canopy goal and develop a Community Forestry Strategic Plan;
• Determining potential tree canopy coverage through “plant-able area” mapping;
• Adoption by City Council of the Community Forestry Strategic Plan;
• Revising the City’s street tree code and developing a new Administrative Rule for tree protection, planting, and maintenance;
• Investing in tree plantings through dedicated funds in annual budget and the Public Works five-year Capital Improvement Plan;
• Incorporating trees into other planning and restoration work, such as the City’s Municipal Stormwater permit;
• Engaging the community through annual tree planting events, art and photography contests, lectures, neighborhood tree inventories, and dispersion of tree-related research and topical articles;
• Focusing tree planting efforts in low-canopy neighborhoods, parks, and in low-shade riparian areas along streams; and
• Conducting a street tree inventory and tree health assessment to guide future planting and management efforts.

 

Aidan J. ffrench, Landscape Architect, Urban Placemaking | Blue-Green Infrastructure, The Irish Landscape Institute. Health & Well-being – the Irish Urban Experience 

There’s a growing realisation by decision makers of the need to align policies and projects with national health goals, including disease-prevention and healthier lifestyles. Key political drivers include potential savings to health expenditure (€17bn p.a), through preventive care.

The Dublin Region’s municipalities engage with this process by delivering practically-orientated projects, benefiting health outcomes by investing in active and passive recreation and quality place-making. Related civil society initiatives in urban horticulture enhance social solidarity and services to people with disabilities. The recent WMOF –Our Common Home Garden - serves as an example of intergenerational solidarity, inspired by Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical ‘Laudate Si’
 

The paper presents practical examples of this from academia, social enterprise and municipal sectors. At local level, small greenspace interventions provide health well-design environments for green exercise and eco-therapy. Related demonstrator projects, using Nature-based Solutions for Climate Resilience are planned (e.g. Rain Gardens , Green Streets) bringing indirect health benefits.

The emerging zeitgeist may release potential for a sustained governance approach. This involves a systemic application of benefits to personal and communal health & well-being, in collaborative efforts between professional experts and NGOs.

Keywords

§Common Good
§Age-friendly 
§Quality of life
§Development Management | Quality Place-making | Landscape Design
§Blue-Green Infrastructure
§Greenways 
§Climate Resilience | Nature-based Solutions

References (draft):
1. ‘An Unhealthy State’ Maev-Anne Wren (2002)
2. ‘Near-Health, NUI Galway
3. EU Multifunctionality of G.I 
4. Lancet and University of London Institute 
5. Dlr Sports and Recreation/Leisure statistics

 

G.

Hisham S. Gabr and Nagwa H. Sherif, Professors of Architecture, The American University in Cairo, EGYPT. Sidewalks and Streets in Cairo: Pedestrian Use, Behavioral Patterns and Design Strategies

Evaluating the performance of street and sidewalk design and identifying patterns of use by pedestrians in Cairo is the objective of this paper. The paper addresses the behavioral problems of street use, and possible causes. Ideas for resolving some of these problems through proper design that accommodates the cultural and behavioral characteristics of the local population are discussed. Visual observations of pedestrian use or misuse of streets and sidewalks in selected streets across different types of neighborhoods in the city constitute the basic data collection technique. Convenient sample of pedestrians and street users were interviewed to elaborate on the problems of use and possible solutions. Problematic patterns of street use have become almost the norm rather than the exception, contributing to a poor and stressful urban experience. The findings document some of the symptoms for not using sidewalks by pedestrians in a normally expected manner. Proper design guidelines for streets and sidewalks in existing Egyptian cities particularly Cairo has a chance to be successful if the designer understands the actual human behavioral needs and the design accommodates the socio-cultural characteristics of users.

 

Mireia Gascon Merlos, Environmental epidemiologist, ISGlobal, Barcelona, SPAIN. Determinants of walking for travel in seven European cities: the PASTA project

The “Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches” (PASTA) project aims to understand the determinants of walking for travel in seven European cities. Using a web-based questionnaire, we collected information on the total minutes walking for travel per week, as well as on individual characteristics, mobility behaviour and attitude (N=7875). Characteristics of the residential and the work/study built environments were determined with GIS-based techniques. We conducted factor and principal component analyses to define profiles of the different potential determinants of interest and applied negative binomial regression analyses. Results showed that living in high density residential areas, with richness of facilities, and density of public transport stations increased walking for travel, whereas the same characteristics at the work/study area were less relevant when both environments were considered. A “walk-friendly social environment” was relevant for walking for travel, but having a better or a worse personal opinion about walking was important but not determinant. Rather, the importance given to certain criteria to choose a mode of transport seemed to be more relevant. Mostly using the bike or motorized vehicles (particularly the motorbike) to travel reduced the probabilities of walking for travel, while using the public transport was strongly associated with more walking for travel. The present study supports and goes beyond findings from previous research regarding the role of the built environment in the promotion of walk for travel, and it provides insights into the strategies that should be taken to achieve sustainable, healthy, liveable, and walkable cities.

 

Mona Ghandi, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA. Reconfigurable Shelter for Homeless and Refugees: Role of Emerging Technologies as Medium of Architectural Education and Social 

Advances in computational algorithmic design, material science, and fabrication technologies have exposed architects to new opportunities in design enabling them to address contemporary needs of cities and citizens. The far-reaching applications of this technology have provided students with a bewildering array of new tools for their design exploration. Among many of the socio-economic and political challenges facing today’s world, homelessness and refugee crisis are the most critical. Homeless Shelter design-build studio created an affordable, portable, and transformable shelter using emergent technologies. In this studio, 14 junior undergraduate students explored design solutions for ameliorating the life of homeless individuals. Students worked collaboratively to build a full-scale lightweight, affordable, portable, flexible, and pre-fabricated shelter that could undertake eight different configurations. The shelter can be altered to increase natural ventilation or the retention of heat depending on the season

The goal was to design a shelter that would not only provide a safe place to accommodate the basic needs of the homeless/refugees, but also one that can function as a business incubator or a pop-up shop to give them the ability to become financially independent and help them to regain their dignity. By considering this deployable shelter as an urban sculpture or a portable green installation, it could also serve the public and could be considered as a medium of interaction between society and homeless people to further raise awareness of this issue. This paper reviews the role of emerging technologies as a medium of architectural design education and social services.

 

Mark Ginsberg, Partner, Architect, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, New York, NY, USA. Lessons from a Dense City

As the global population continues to become more urban, cities must cope with the resulting strain on their residents and the built environment, from infrastructure, to transit, to public services. In particular, demand for housing has resulted in an affordability crisis; all 50 of the largest US metropolitan areas are not meeting their affordable housing needs. In the last 15 years New York City saw an 11% increase in population, a 16% increase in jobs, and an 8% increase in residential units. Housing is of vital importance for the health of residents and cities; unstable or unaffordable housing exacerbates problems related to health, employment, education, and aging. Using New York City as a case study, this research explores how effectively-managed density is part of a holistic response to urbanization. 

Two issues are examined: the need for stable, mixed-income communities and utilization of high-performance building standards. A working definition of “stable, mixed-income housing” is used to argue for inclusionary, transit-oriented housing that facilitates mixed income neighborhoods, and support people experiencing homelessness. Environmentally-conscious design strategies indicate that highly energy efficient buildings promote resident health, reduce energy consumption, and reduce burden on infrastructure. Both concepts are illustrated with examples of architectural design and suggestions for policy interventions.

Increased density is a sustainable solution to urban growth and reduction of per capita carbon footprint. We must manage density through mixed-income, integrated housing projects. Ultimately, user health, stability, and growth should be the goal that orients housing projects and the measure of its success.

 

Ray Green, Professor, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA. Resident conceptions of “Neighbourhood’ in a leafy inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Australia

This paper reports on a study that explored how residents of what is referred to as the “Botanic Precinct” in the inner-city suburb of South Yarra, in Melbourne, Australia, perceive their “neighbourhoods”. A mail survey was sent to a sample of 1,400 residents, to whom 130 responded, which asked them to describe their neighbourhood and its geographic configuration on supplied maps of the local area. This graphic neighbourhood sketch mapping task and responses to open ended questions provided data on how the respondents perceived their neighbourhoods and the environmental features they most frequently identify as defining “neighbourhood character”. The aim was to understand how and why people in the study area conceptualise their neighbourhoods the way they do and the environmental and spatial attributes associated with their conceptions of their neighbourhoods. GIS technology was used to plot neighbourhood sketch maps to reveal spatial patterns in neighbourhood boundary configurations. A spatial pattern reflective of a shared neighbourhood image emerged from this analysis. When combined with the results of the content analysis of written responses, trees in the neighbourhood, particularly older, larger trees growing in public spaces – along streets and in parks – was the most frequently identified landscape feature in defining “neighbourhood character”. A correlation between large urban shade trees and where people said they frequently walk suggests public health benefits at the neighbourhood level through preserving larger, older, shade trees as key landscape elements to preserve the character and spatial qualities of neighbourhoods to encourage walkability.

 

H.

Georgia Harrison Hall, Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA. Finlay Park: Refresh of an Iconic Design

Finlay Park, a popular, yet aging, park in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, is in need of repair. The 1989 iconic design by Robert E. Marvin, FASLA, featured dramatic vistas of the city skyline, and for many years served as the entry point for visitors viewing highlights of the city. From the highest elevation of the park water spilled into a linear progression of active water features dubbed the "Little Congaree," after Columbia's historic river lifeline. Swinging benches provided a setting to enjoy the view, and paths led down the hill to a collector pond, broad expanses of lawn and a custom vertical playground.

Finlay Park was planned to be the cornerstone of the Congaree Vista Master Plan (1984) for the riverfront district. Originally intended to be a meeting ground for office workers, university students, residents, families, and elderly, the park has become a destination for vagrants. Over time families have abandoned the playground, homeless have overtaken the benches and large concert events have compacted play fields. The facilities show signs of decay and loss of functionality. What was intended to catalyze economic development in an urban district has instead become an undesirable place to be.

In 2014 a team of designers from Stantec Inc. and Civitas Inc. designed a master plan for revitalization of the park. Three questions emerge: 1) Is the redesign truthful to the original design intentions? 2) Can the redesign enliven the park to attract a broad spectrum of users as originally intended? 3) Will the redesign help to spur economic development as intended in the 1984 Vista plan?

 

Hiro Hata, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, University at Buffalo and John F. Somers, CEO/President, Harmac Medical Product,Buffalo, NY, USA. The Bailey Green Initiative: Creating a Healthier, more Equitable, and Sustainable Neighborhood

Leaders from Harmac Medical Products and the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning will join together to present a Bailey Green Initiative’s successes, challenges, and lessons learned to the conference. They will share their strategies for the next five years, as they help their neighbors stand on their own by re-building their own ecosystems, the DNA of the healthy community. 

Ten years ago, faced with the challenge of moving its headquarters from this neighborhood of crime to a green pasture, Harmac leadership, realizing 25% of its work-force resides in the zip-code, decided to stay put. This marked the new beginning of the on-going rebuilding process, aka, the Bailey Green Initiative, leading neighbors through a restoration process designed to bring safety, stability, and hope back to their lives. Working with the city, the process began by removing blight along an arterial where its HQS stands, and creating a green infrastructure. In 2014, it partnered with the school, creating a 10-year vision plan. Faculty and his students created an award-winning Bailey Green Urban Design Plan (2016). This joint-partnership helped to establish trust from the community resulting in Bailey Green Partners from zero to 30 in the last five years. 

In summary, this presentation will demonstrate how a proactive public-private partnership has helped to resurrect the neighborhood from its brink. Today, this resurgence continues to creating a positive future, transforming a 66-acre neighborhood into a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable place to live, work, and play.

 

Hiro Hata, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning and John F. Somers, President/CEO, Harmac Medical Products, Inc., Buffalo, NY, USAThe Bailey Green Initiative: its foundation and the future potential

Leaders from Harmac Medical Products* and the University at Buffalo’s (UB) School of Architecture and Planning will jointly present the Bailey Green Initiative’s successes, challenges, and lessons learned. They will share their strategies for the next five years, as they help neighbors stand on their own by re-building their own ecosystems, the DNA of a healthy community.

Ten years ago, faced with the challenge of moving its headquarters from a neighborhood of drugs and crime to a green pasture, Harmac leadership, realizing 25% of its workforce resides in the zip code, decided to stay put. This marked the new beginning of the on-going rebuilding process, a.k.a., the Bailey Green Initiative, leading neighbors through a restoration process designed to bring safety, stability, and hope back to their lives. Working with the city of Buffalo, the process began by removing blight along an arterial where its HQS stands, and creating a green infrastructure. In 2014, it partnered with UB, creating a 10-year vision for the transformation. Hiro Hata and his Urban Design students created the award-winning Bailey Green plan (2016). This joint partnership helped to establish trust from the community, resulting in now 30 Bailey Green partners from zero just five years ago.
Summary: this presentation will demonstrate how a proactive public-private partnership has helped to resurrect a Buffalo East Side neighborhood from its brink. Today, this resurgence continues toward creating a positive future, transforming a 66-acre neighborhood into a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable place to live, work, and play.

*Harmac Medical Products is a global contract manufacturing company of single-use medical products.

 

Brandon Haw, President and CEO, Brandon Haw Architecture, New York, NY, USA. Healthy City- Identity, Function and Beauty in our Everyday Lives

Access to civic amenities, parks, schools, hospitals, museums and places of worship alongside a plethora of other public functions civilized society must provide, is furthered by good transport infrastructure. Good governance provides the necessary checks and balances between private and public interests and the greater public good so that the expedient and perfunctory is not the accepted norm, but the creation of a beautifully functional environment for all citizens is the goal, creating civic identity and meaning within each community. 

Looking at the physical urban morphology of post war North American cities from the air, a clear shift took place created by changing lifestyle aspirations associated with the ‘good life in a civilized society’. This change in the physical reality of our urban realm may be traced directly to the growth of car ownership throughout North America and much of the modern world. Coinciding with the dismantling of existing public transport systems, the cohesive hierarchies of public space associated with prewar cities was no longer the prerequisite of city planning and the creation of walkable cities.  

This presentation traces these topics with a call to re-engage the wisdoms of dense walkable cities, with well- defined hierarchies of urban public space. In maintaining a city’s cultural patrimony, as a foundation for a habitable city, loved for its diversity and neighborhoods, architects, civic leaders, developers and urbanists, must lead the way to a renewed effort to create beauty in our everyday civic lives.

 

Mary Rita Holland, City Councillor, City of Kingston, ON, CANADA. Moving toward inclusion and health equity: free transit for social assistance recipients in Kingston, Ontario

In 2017, the City of Kingston initiated free transit services for individuals receiving Ontario Works (social assistance). The move was based on input from social service agencies who struggled to ensure clients could access employment, health and social services across the city. Decreasing levels of social isolation and increasing dignity for individuals living in poverty were also key motivations for the community group.

Kingston, Ontario is a city of approximately 124,000 residents with approximately 12,000 residents living under the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) of $15,600/year. The average base benefit for an adult receiving Ontario Works is $656/month ($7,8721/year). Social assistance programs, funded at the provincial government level, provide discretionary funds for medical and employment-related travel within the city. However, due to the discretionary nature of the allocations, the poorest of Kingston’s low income residents received no transit subsidy other than the $46.50 for a monthly, Affordable Transit Pass in 2017. With direction from City Council, Kingston’s Community Services and Transit departments launched an innovative collaboration, transferring provincial funding for discretionary transportation from Community Services to the Transit operating budget, thereby creating a fully subsidized transit pass for our most vulnerable residents. Inter-departmental cooperation and citizen advocacy in transit services in Kingston illustrates the importance of transportation in improve health outcomes – a key feature of a 21st century, livable city. 

 

Darwin Horning, Assistant Professor, University of Northern British Columbia School of Environmental Planning, Prince George, B.C., CANADA. The Urban Resilience through Enhance Indigenous Networks Project 

In 2007, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues acknowledged the growing number and proportion of Indigenous peoples living in cities. Most small, rural communities of Northern British Columbia struggle with the migration of their youth to larger, urban environments. In the case of Indigenous youth, issues associated with this migration extend beyond a loss to their home communities, as evidence shows, their move to an urban environment often results in a dangerous change in lifestyle.  

Most Indigenous related research has focused on Indigenous cultures and communities in rural or remote areas, or on the risks (e.g., health, safety, etc.) associated with urban migration, emphasizing the perception that an Indigenous identity and an urban lifestyle are incompatible. However, when urban Indigenous youth are validated, secure in their identity, and provided with the space to live as Indigenous people, they are enabled to flourish and to make significant contributions to the arts, architecture, healing, Indigenous science, restorative justice, and sustainable ways to live in the natural world.  

The Urban Resilience through Enhance Indigenous Networks Project was developed to identify and map Indigenous youth social, cultural and physical networks within the City of Prince George in order to better understand what being an urban Indigenous youth means. The goal of the project is, through better understanding of Indigenous youth networks, inform urban policy development to better support and enhance the social, cultural and physical networks of urban Indigenous youth. 

 

I.

Cristina Imbroglini and Lucina Caravaggi, Professors, Architecture and Design Department, Sapienza University, Rome, ITALY. Rome urban environment as a wellness lab

According to the Global Report on diabetes (WHO 2016) the number of adults with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980. Concentration in urban areas is likely to increase and many studies confirm the "responsibility" of urban space and lifestyles on the health of urbanized populations. 

The diabetes emergency requires new integrated methods of intervention, to act simultaneously on prevention and care, on the quality of the urban environment and on its perception. 
Our interdisciplinary group at Sapienza University of Rome, connected to Health City Institute, is working to prevent diabetes and its complications in Rome metropolitan area. The interdisciplinary group includes Endocrinologists, Health Psychologists, Urban Planners, Landscape Designers, Architects, Ecologists. The focus is the development of a model of intervention (called Wellness Lab) to create healthier urban environments and to support healthier lifestyles 
We are carrying out an epidemiologic study, in an attempt to establish significant correspondences between specific parts of the city, social backgrounds and diabetes. 
The model of intervention suitable for the contemporary city is based on:  
-multi activity centers to promote innovative forms of care, education, health promotion and social inclusion and as a strategic tool for urban regeneration
-walkability: a system of protected routes for daily travels to transform "physical activity" into a daily practice; 
- landscape parks: green spaces, community led, with high ecological performance, giving access to nature, clean air and water, healthy food. 
The “wellness lab” has significant potential applications in European cities in line with the Horizon 2020 European Framework Program.

 

K.

Leah Kemp, Director, Carl Small Town Center, Mississippi State, MS, USA. How to harness community participation for a healthier community

Community participation is arguably fundamental in planning or regenerating a healthy community. Without citizen input, involvement, and buy-in, a community cannot cultivate its unique assets and harness its best resources. Examination of three case studies will reveal best practices to implement, as well as pitfalls to avoid when placemaking with communities. 


The first case study highlights how a community design center’s tactical urbanism project catalyzed a community to implement a downtown park project on its own. The project demonstrates how involving citizens in the placemaking process can empower them to make positive change in their communities. 

The second case study demonstrates how residents were not ready to engage in a controversial redevelopment process for their neighborhood’s superfund site. The study provides examples of how to get participation back on track and ultimately find meaningful outcomes. 

The third case study demonstrates how incorporating a range of community engagement methodologies led to unique outcomes in a comprehensive planning process. The feature project that resulted from the community visioning process transforms an eyesore into a beautiful recreational trail that connects important destinations like schools and the downtown to a nearby rails-to-trails corridor. 

These case studies demonstrate how to empower citizens to share in the placemaking process, how to build trust to effectively engage residents to produce positive outcomes, and how tailoring involvement strategies can help craft unique places. Ultimately, these community participation strategies are critical in transforming ideas into thriving, healthy communities. 

 

Lydia Kenselaar, Senior Designer, Alta Planning + Design, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Integrating Green Infrastructure + Complete/Active Streets

The public realm is one of the most vital components of every community. And a well-design public realm is one that is safe, active, vibrant, well-connected, and sustainable. Some of the most reliable funding sources for cities to design and implement these types of improvement projects come from state and federal agencies that are focused most keenly on outcomes related to that first item, safety. Critical, yes, but so often all those other dynamic elements of the public realm, including green infrastructure, are de-emphasized in terms of project importance. In our built-out cities with constrained Rights-of-Way, it can be a challenge deliver solutions that improve safety for our most vulnerable roadway users, those walking and biking, and balance the real and perceived needs for vehicles—let alone deliver projects that wholly integrate green infrastructure into a project to address environmental health, equity, and community placemaking. So how can we as designers work collaboratively and creatively with cities and municipalities to more thoroughly integrate green infrastructure into these types of projects? And what are some other funding streams or incentive programs communities can look to to support this important work?

This paper will deliver lessons-learned from a diverse range of projects that integrate green infrastructure and active/complete streets: corridor studies, safe routes to school projects, city-scale planning initiatives, and first/last mile studies.

 

Simon Kingham, Professor and Emma McCone, Student, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND. The importance of the local school environment in encouraging healthy school travel and healthy local communities

School travel is a major aspect of a child’s everyday activity. The relationship between the built environment that children experience on their way to and from school, influences a number of factors including their development, health and wellbeing. This is especially important in low income areas where the built environment is often poorer, but the need for it greater. 

The project was in Aranui, a low income suburb in Christchurch, New Zealand. It particularly focused on the Haeata Community Campus, a state school of just under 1000 pupils from year one through to year thirteen (ages 5-18). The campus opened in 2017 following the closure of four local schools (three primary and one secondary), as part of the New Zealand Government’s Education Renewal scheme following the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010/11. The process by which this the Campus came into existence was therefore unusual and highly contentious (a Ombudsman report was highly critical of the process, especially the lack of community engagement, and the government has apologised for it). Previous research has argued that the permanent closure of schools after the earthquakes had a significant impact on community cohesion and wellbeing. 

The key focus of this research was to examine students’ perspectives on the local built environment, specifically how youth-friendly public spaces and transport environments are in their neighbourhood, seeking to understand the relationship between urban design, travel behaviour and community development?

 

L.

Marisa R. Lee, Engineer, Alta Planning + Design, Oakland, CA, USA. Complete Streets Design: Challenges and Successes from Concept to Construction

Complete streets have come to be regarded as a best practice in both theory and application for a variety of contexts, settings, and communities. Their design and implementation, however, come with both successes and challenges in practical applications.

This paper compares, contrasts, and cites lessons learned from a variety of prominent complete streets projects. These projects range from concept to final design, and vary in scope from simple striped buffered bike lanes with limited budget, to parking-protected cycletracks, to complete roadway redesign including urban street greening, incorporation of green infrastructure, and innovative accommodation for transit. Experience draws from the fields of engineering, landscape architecture, and urban design in coordinating with stakeholders, gaining community support through outreach, upholding best practices of design given physical and financial constraints, and reaching final engineering design despite a variety of challenges. This includes an exploration of sacrifices that are sometimes necessary to reach a practical or implementable final design after an initial extravagant illustrative concept plan, as well as lessons learned from outreach processes, community opposition, or competing client needs or desires.  Most importantly, the experience of the complete street is examined, including methodologies for enhancing accessibility, shared mobility, and efficiency for all modes.  

 

Peter Lowitt, FAICP, Director, Devens Enterprise Commission, APA MA Chapter and APA Sustainable Communities Division, Devens, MA, USA. Green Streets Lawrence: A Health Impact Assessment of the Lawrence Green Streets Program

Groundworks Lawrence (GWL) began a Green Streets Program to plant 2400 street trees in Lawrence, MA. The program’s goal is to reduce household heating and cooling energy use; funded by a variety of Massachusetts state agencies. GWL needed assistance promoting the program and the (APA) American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities Division(APA SCD) & Massachusetts Chapter APA volunteers undertook this service project.

We used the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as a tool to assess existing health conditions and evaluate how trees might improve health conditions as well as Energy Efficiency and build additional community buy-in/support for the program.  
The APA-SCD Team’s research identified four priority impact areas – those areas that have the greatest impact on the overall health of the community, given the existing conditions in Lawrence and the two neighborhoods of Arlington and South Common. Based on information collected from GWL, demographics, the community health assessments, and scientific literature review, the four priority impact areas are:
Environmental: Air quality, water quality and urban heat island impacts are prevalent in Lawrence.
Physical and Mental Health: Street trees in urban environments have proven to have rehabilitating impacts on the physical and mental health of the population.  
Social Cohesion: There is a correlation between the number of street trees and the amount of community interaction as more aesthetically pleasing and inviting streetscapes help promote more opportunities for positive and beneficial interactions between community residents, businesses and organizations.
Housing/Energy: Street and neighborhood designs that focus on people, not cars.  
A street tree selector tool and marketing created in Spanish and English. 
The end results included increased awareness and community support/buy in for GWL Green Streets; a Triple Bottom Line impacts of trees in an urban environment was created; a replicable process & techniques were developed and street tree resources that can now be tailored to other communities (by climate zone). 

 

M.

Devon McAslan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.Walkability, Public Transit and Atonomous Vehicles: Planning for Sustainable Transport in an Autonomous Future

In the Phoenix metropolitan area, numerous companies have been testing and operating autonomous vehicles (AVs). By the end of 2018, Waymo, one of these companies, anticipates starting a ride-share service for the general public using their autonomous vehicles. AVs have the potential to make our city streets generally safer and healthier, with fewer accidents, less (or zero) emissions, and fewer cars in general. However, the broader impacts of AVs on public transit, walkability and biking are not well understood. This paper explores these impacts. I combine ongoing research on AV planning in city and regional governments in the US with research on planning walkable and transit oriented communities that promote public health and well being. In this paper, I will present some of the benefits of AVs, as well as some of the potential risks. Next, I will present numerous ways in which cities can continue to promote sustainable transport, especially transit use. This will present some existing policies that cities are using and present sourcing case studies of cities. But I will also propose new policies in an effort to provide guiding principles for building a transit system that can remain competitive in a world of AVs. Ensuring that our cities remain walkable and transit oriented is even more important than ever give the recent advances in and the reality that this emerging technology will force us to rethink what urban transportation can be.

 

David McKenna, IBI Group, Manchester, UK. Jographies: Using Urban And Green Infrastructure To Encourage Recreational Running

Can we design and manage our streets, spaces and parks to increase the number of people who use them for running to generate improved community health, especially after dark? Running is one of the cheapest, most accessible and effective forms of exercise with as many mental health and social benefits as physical.  

Research and design promoting the health benefits of our streets tends to focus on active travel but not everyone will utilize active travel. Perhaps you don’t work or you live too far from work to cycle and in the future autonomous vehicles may ultimately provide a door-to-door service with no need to walk anywhere. The term Jography has been used to explore why and how we undertake recreational running.

In this paper I explore what makes a route good for running. Issues include: traffic volume and speed, pedestrian density, footway width, lighting, trip hazards and the obstacle course often created by pavement parking and street furniture. Summertime routes can utilise green infrastructure but winter runs in the dark are both more dangerous and less interesting.


If Local Authorities took a strategic approach to identifying routes, many of which will already be on apps such as Strava, it could quickly lead to a defined city-wide network of running routes. Once identified, such a network could be promoted locally, attract enhanced maintenance and features such as: water points; meeting points; and physical mapping/signs could be delivered in the public realm with health budgets tapped for some of the funding.

 

Nancy McLean, Associate Professor in Health and Innovation, The University of Melbourne, Ann Borda and Sylvia Grace Borda, Parkville, AUSTRALIA. Well Built: questions of space and opportunity in designing healthy cities

In this paper/presentation, the authors (Borda, Ann; Borda, Sylvia Grace; and Nancy McLean) explore how a balance in ecological and settlement patterns, as demonstrated in former post-Second World War Scottish New Towns, alongside other modernist ideals, deserve being revisited in terms of healthy, urban planning. The group will discuss Scottish New Town principles and their application to inform livable neighbourhoods. The authors will illustrate just how, when the dimensions of sustainable development are viewed holistically (that is social, economic and environmental criteria), that they can create an effective means to influence healthy living practice, such as green space and social justice efforts. In particular the authors explore the former Scottish New Towns of East Kilbride and Glenrothes which are celebrating 75 years since their development. The implementation of these two towns, including financial resources, technology transfer and the role of social partnerships, has evolved over time to address the health and well-being of citizens as well as local urban ecologies. The authors will further give the example of current place-making projects, in which they are involved, that have borrowed from both these former New Town concepts and relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals to create equitable healthy spaces.

 

Leslie Meehan, Director, Office of Primary Prevention, Tennessee Department of HealthNashville, TN, USA. Tennessee Innovations in Livability Policy, Funding and Programming at the state level

In order to achieve prosperous and livable communities we must employ creative solutions and cross-sector collaboration. This session will focus on the work of the Tennessee Department of Health to fund staff, grants and programs related to improving population health through access to built environment features such as parks, greenways, sidewalks, farmers markets and community gardens. In addition to this innovative work, the department coordinates a 15 state department initiative called the Tennessee Livability Collaborative. The goal of the Collaborative is to support prosperity and a high quality of life by multisolving with policy, funding and programs with departments ranging from transportation, economic development, parks and recreation, health, education, aging and disability, tourism and arts. Learn about the unique partnerships and projects that are helping accelerate Tennessee to the next level. Finally, lessons learned and observations will be share such as tactics to repurpose underutilized funding, creative partnerships, and strategies to better connect state resources with local needs.

 

Mark Moreno, Associate Professor and Founder/Director of Renaissance Kids Architecture Camp, Andrews University, School of Architecture and Interior Design, Berrien Springs, MI, USA. A Healthy City for All and by ALL”

This presentation will illustrate the importance of educating children about design, architecture, and urbanism, all through studio-based projects and real community constructions. It will show children (ages 5-16) engaged in creative endeavors, promoting several basic tenets:

1. “Design is strategic.” “As people of a city, our influence guides the destiny of the nation.” * 
2. We problem solve by working together, testing multiple viewpoints at multiple scales.
3. Building with tools empowers kids. 
4. Making things by hand is innately human; children imbue stories in their making.
5. Process is important.

The presentation will show creative community-oriented projects made by “Renaissance Kids” architecture camp at Andrews University, 2007 to present. Projects and themes include the following and ** signify a child or children designed the project: 
• Children’s museum exhibits & street-front make-over
• Community sitting spaces 
• House for two elderly widows**
• Playhouses | tiny house**
• Public art including 9’ sculpture** 
• 20’x10’ steampunk zeppelin stage set** 

Possible extension ideas: 
1. Kids grasp complex ideas about street/city design & placemaking 
2. Millennials trending back to walkable environments, but these places are still too few and far between. 
3. Emerging youth engaged technologies: 
4. 2018 children are working on a tiny house project for a homeless person. This is a real project 
Habitat for Humanity has donated land.
5. Montessori and Reggio Emilia influences on Renaissance Kids 

See projects at websites: 

www.andrews.edu/renkids 
https://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/building-kids-up-by-building-with-kids

* “Wacker's manual of the plan of Chicago” Chicago: W. D. Moody, 1912,c1911. 

 

Juan Mullerat, Founding Principal, PlusUrbia Design, Miami, FL, USA. Holistic Healthy Design For Miami’s Little Havana

Healthy living must be the outcome of every urban design process. 

What began as a project to protect Little Havana’s unique character -- while improving this neglected, affordable, historic neighborhood -- became a flagship master plan based on healthy solutions for re-investment in the community.
Little Havana is one of Miami’s oldest inner-city neighborhoods. By virtually every measure, the community has a significantly higher index of chronic diseases and report more issues with daily health concerns, than the average for the city or nation.
Little Havana is a dense, low- to mid-rise community with very low rates owner-occupied housing and median household incomes far below city- and countywide average. Rampant development pressures threaten the livability of the culturally-rich community.
Contextual design, that respected history, heritage and cultural identity, focused on producing healthy outcomes via:
• Enhancing walkability, parks and public transportation -- to promote exercise and fresh air while reducing expensive car dependency.
• Encouraging preservation/restoration of 1920s and 1930s residential and commercial buildings – to maintain affordable housing and access to jobs in a high cost of living city.
• Creating green, play streets that take cars off the road to create safe neighborhood open space.
• Reconnecting to the Miami River, a working river lacking public access for the community.
• Crafting complete streets with multimodal mobility to support safe movement through the human-scaled neighborhood.
• Writing design guidelines that encourage high density with low- to mid-rise buildings that promote access to community live, improving living conditions with both physical and mental benefits.

 

O.

Curtis M. Ostrodka, AICP, LEED AP, Director of Community Planning VHB, Orlando, FL, USA. Parramore – A Healthy Neighborhood Plan, from Vision to Implementation

Parramore is an 819-acre, blighted, and predominantly African-American community located just west of Orlando’s Central Business District. The community has a median household income of $15,500 (37% of Orlando’s median household income), a 9% home-ownership rate, and unemployment rate of nearly 24%. The community is considered a “food desert” because there is little convenient access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. A 2012 study by the Health Council of East Central Florida found that approximately 41% of children suffer from chronic health problems, including obesity, hypertension, and asthma.

The City of Orlando, in association with VHB, developed the Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan to balance the preservation of cultural heritage with the need for economic development. The Plan used a Healthy Community Design framework to envision a place where every resident can easily make healthy lifestyle choices through access to safe parks and walking trails, healthy and affordable foods, as well as the provision of job opportunities, safe and affordable places to live, and life-long learning and educational opportunities. Each recommendation of the Plan relates back to improving the health of residents.

The Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan was completed in January 2015. Since that time, the following has occurred:
• Over 400 new mixed income housing units approved
• Repair of 325 sidewalk gaps and 90 ADA ramps
• New PS-8 Community School opened 2017 and construction of new multi-use path 
• All street lamps upgraded to white LEDs
• Opening of Parramore Farmers Market
• University of Central Florida / Valencia College Downtown Campus opening 2019

 

P.

Rick Phillips, RA, AICP, Principal, rp[PLACE] and Dorothy Riddle, CMC, President, Hidden Mobility Disabilities Alliance, San José, CA, USA. 50 Foot Circles – Empowering all in the City of Short Distances

The theme of the 2019 IMCL Conference floodlights the most important issue facing urbanists today: equity in all of its forms. A “Healthy City for All” means a healthy city for everyone, with no one left out. The promises of True Urbanism are not fulfilled if only certain categories of urbanites are served and supported. Within the already vulnerable realm of the disabled, one sub-category is particularly challenged: people who experience hidden mobility disabilities who can access the benefits and opportunities of community participation only if required walking distances are severely limited.

This paper began in conversation at IMCL’s 2018 conference in Ottawa, between a leading activist in “hidden” mobility disability (those with mobility limitations not apparent to an observer, in contrast to, for example, a person using a wheelchair) and an urban designer specializing in walkability and multi-modal transportation. The activist offered a challenge: what does the City of Short Distances look like when fully accessible to people with hidden mobility disabilities? From this question emerged this collaborative exploration.

In this paper, the walking limitations facing people with hidden mobility disabilities will be mapped to the planning and design strategies of healthy cities, represented by recognized prototypes and IMCL’s principles of True Urbanism. Applying the principles of comprehensive multi-modal transportation, the authors will offer new ideas, patterns and strategies, addressing not just planning and design but also the realms of education, regulation, and governance.

The authors agree and assert: in healthy cities for all, all really can be included!

 

John J. Pittari, Jr. and Alex Krumdieck, Professor(s), Auburn University [Urban Studio], Birmingham, AL, USA. Affordable and Connected Housing for a Resilient Birmingham (Alabama)

Cities around the world are increasingly realizing that the continual change of urban dynamics means they need to become more resilient in the face of such change, whether it be in the form of a “shock” (typically episodic and unexpected disturbances) or a “stress” (generally more chronic and persistent problems). A particular stress that many cities are currently facing in regard to improved resiliency is the provision of housing that is both affordable, and that offers an appropriate mix of unit types and dwelling conditions. This stress is becoming a concern for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, which, in addition to more chronic issues of housing affordability, is now seeing a growing residential market in its downtown, but a market which is being served only by a limited niche of housing types, a situation which could threaten the downtown’s continued rejuvenation. Grounded in the belief that the city’s sizable stock of vacant housing units and “land bank” parcels” can be used to address these two concerns in a related manner, the authors of this paper (with their students) have undertaken an ongoing series of studies examining housing and connectivity issues within selected areas of Birmingham in order to identify potential opportunities for the provision of an appropriate housing mix, one that is both affordable and well-connected. By doing so, it is hoped that these endeavors will not only improve housing conditions within these specific areas, but should also position Birmingham itself to become a more resilient city.

 

Michael Pyatok, FAIA, Principal, Pyatok Architects, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Oakland, CA, USA. Designing for Low Income Communities: Many Unanswered Questions

This paper and PPT presentation will review several recent affordable housing developments and master plans for lower income communities from among the more than 200 executed during the 50-year career of the author. The author will review the community processes that were employed, and the assertions, assumptions and hypotheses about social and cultural expectations which underlie the body of work. Some of these proved accurate and productive, while others did not. The presentation will include a list of critical research subjects that should be explored to improve the manner by which planning and design work is undertaken with and for lower income communities in the US.

 

R.

Nancy K. Rivenburgh, Professor, Department of Communication, University of Washington, Seattle, CA, USA. Lessons Learned. How Artists Make Better Cities

For a book entitled “Envisioning Better Cities: A Global Tour of Good Ideas” (March 2019), my co-author and I have been researching best practices around the world for making cities more livable and sustainable. From this multi-year project, several key themes emerged. One prominent theme is the important role that local artists play in improving cities. That theme is the focus of this paper. Of course, artists can make public spaces more inviting and inspiring, but that's not all. They can act as provocative communicators to call out issues or inequities. They can serve as a bridge between city officials and marginalized communities. They can help a community build a stronger sense of place and pride. And more. Drawing on examples from around the world, this goal of this paper is to impress upon city leaders and urban planning professionals, the great variety of ways that artists can transform, educate, engage, and strengthen communities. It details different types of programs and projects that attract local artists to wield their creative talents in ways that encourage positive change. 

 

S.

Stephanie Schrader, Community Wellbeing Liaison, City of Cedar Rapids, IA, USA. Growing Roots In Cedar Rapids

In June 2008, the City of Cedar Rapids experienced catastrophic flooding that devastated core neighborhoods of the community. As a result, a significant number of the City’s affordable housing stock was lost when 5,900 residential properties were destroyed. A considerable portion of the residents impacted consisted of socially vulnerable residents; many of whom are elderly and lower-income.

When flood recovery began, the City wanted to ensure that high quality, affordable housing that tied in with the fabric of the neighborhoods would be made available to residents. Unlike many post-disaster rebuilding programs that target multifamily housing, Cedar Rapids implemented a unique single-family housing construction program to help revitalize neighborhoods. ROOTs (Rebuilding Ownership Opportunities Together) provided incentives to developers and considerable down payment assistance to low-to-moderate income homebuyers.

The primary focus of ROOTs was to replace housing lost in the City’s core neighborhoods by building on infill lots. Homes built through the ROOTs program restored population to some of the City’s hardest hit flood impacted neighborhoods and increased the tax base. In fact, the homes built on infill lots through ROOTs have experienced average assessed value increases of 99% in the past ten years. Through the ROOTs program, the City of Cedar Rapids has been able to not only replace some of the single-family housing lost in the flood, but rebuild as a sustainable, livable community. 

 

Nagwa Sherif, Professor of Architecture, The American University in Cairo, EGYPT. The Dilemma of affordable Household Design and Users’ Preferences 

This research addresses an important social and economic problem related to the large amount of investment in housing developments. Throughout the twentieth century, Cairo has been considered the most populous city in Africa and the Arab world. The city’s development has been most intense since World War II; its growing population has strained urban settings to the breaking point, where housing was perhaps the most pressing issue. This paper addresses a problem related to the large amount of investment in new housing developments that failed, due to users’ dissatisfaction with their residences. An exploratory study showed that most users make substantial changes in the design and finishes of their housing units resulting in a huge waste of social and economic resources. 

The aim of this research is to investigate if there is a trend based on socio- cultural values behind residential users’ preferences, in order to ultimately support designers to understand and provide suitable household design and minimize users dissatisfaction with their houses. An empirical research is conducted to identify people’s preferences concerning housing layout in the upper and lower middle income classes leading to a comparative analysis to address the differences and similarities between the two social classes’ preferences in the household layout. Particular household elements were found to be very important to the respondents. This preference was studied against different criteria such as gender, yearly income, age, and educational background. A general trend can be outlined to indicate users preferences in household design which can guide design decisions.

 

Nagwa H. Sherif, Professor, Heba Sefey Eldin, Adjunct Professor and Mariam Amer, Researcher, The School of Architecture, The American University in Cairo, EGYPT. An Integrative Approach towards children Inclusive Planning of Public Spaces

With the growing shift towards sustainable approaches in planning cities, research on human interaction and movement within the built environment, access to resources and public realm have become central to the creation of liveable and equitable spaces. Consequently, myriad studies have shown a growing interest within different disciplines to identify the qualities of such spaces. While the majority of existing literature focus on the tools and strategies needed to create liveable and sustainable built environment, they are often not entirely inclusive to the needs of people with low income, elders, children and the special needs. The fact that the spatial structure of cities is intertwined with the social and economic activities of their inhabitants, has made spatial analysis an important tool for evaluating the impact of design decisions on movement and interaction of special user groups within the built environment. Today, with the advancements in computation methods, new approaches have emerged to achieve cost effective and more inclusive design solutions and planning strategies. This paper sets out to examine the potential of integrating spatial and agent-based modelling (ABM) techniques in abstracting how a built environment works, understanding the navigation and spatial cognition of a selected user group, with application on children, and hence forecasting the impact of decisions made by city planners and various stakeholders. The aim thus, is to disseminate the best practices for the creation of safe liveable urban spaces for children in cities where the needs and the well-being of all inhabitants should be considered.

 

Daniel Silverman, Urban Planner, City of Yonkers, NY, USA. The Daylighting of the Saw Mill River

The City of Yonkers is located at the confluence of the Saw Mill and Hudson Rivers in Westchester County. Once home to a bustling industrial economy with companies such as Otis Elevator fueling its fires here, our history is closely tied to our rivers. Unfortunately, much of our relationship with the Saw Mill has been one of neglect. In the mid-19th century, the river was tamed and built over in some places. A product of its own success, this once vibrant river that meandered through land formerly known to the Lenape Indians as ‘Neppackamack’, was transformed into a nuisance and means of garbage disposal.

In the mid-20th century, Yonkers saw much of its industry leave for southern states; however, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the Saw Mill was addressed. At this point, the City began to understand the importance of bringing nature back into downtown and providing the community with the open space it needed. The Saw Mill Daylighting has accomplished this goal by connected Yonkers residents back to the thriving river that so long ago was forgotten. Since completion of the first phase in September 2012, subsequent phases have been completed in June 2016 and most recently October 2018 at three locations within the downtown. The project uses innovative techniques to improve water quality including stone filtration, pervious pavement, eel ladders, rain gardens, and an electricity generating water wheel. In addition to environmental benefits, the daylighting has given Yonkers an economic boost spurring development along its path.

 

Felia Srinaga, Associate Professor, University of Pelita Harapan, School of Design, Karawaci-Tangerang, INDONESIA. Developing Public Space in the Neighborhood of the Cisadane Riverbanks in Tangerang, Indonesia based on Everyday Architecture

Public spaces play an important role in the development of a city. There are Plaza or Square, Streets and Parks, as public spaces that reflect the wheels of economic, social, cultural and political activities of the people, but there are also other forms of public spaces such as the riverbanks area. However in the developing country, including in Indonesia, riverbanks often considered as rear area especially in informal settlement that treated the area as dumping grounds, thus make it to be inappropriate and far from hygienic. The Municipal of Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia has a vast and beautiful river, called Cisadane that rich with culture and surrounded by historical places such as an annual boat festival, old market, etc.. The municipal government has already tried to developed Cisadane riverbanks but faced with the problems of exclusivity in which not strongly correspond with the daily needs and activities of its citizens. The paper tried to examine important considerations when developing riverbanks as an enjoyable and healthy public space: 1) River banks as the front door, 2) Emphasize the history, 3) Activates the riverbanks, 4) Reduces the barrier and provides connections, 5) Provides interaction that is familiar with water, 6) Harmoniously connecting riverbanks with surrounding settlements, and 7) Improve the quality of the environment. Thus, the development of public spaces on the riverbanks needs to be based on everyday architecture, whereas local wisdom and daily activities are in accordance with the needs of the community to improve the identity of the place.

Keywords: Public Space, Riverbanks, Cisadane River, Everyday Architecture. 

 

Chris Stapleton, Dip C Eng, M Built Env, MPIA , Stapleton Transportation and Planning, Pty Ltd, EdgeCliff. New Pedestrians and Mobility Demands – New Networks

Three new challenges are threatening urban street life. Firstly, there are a growing number of older, still mobile but more vulnerable, residents who want to walk more; added to which there is a recognized need to improve the amenity for families walking and recreating in neighbourhoods. The two are not necessarily in harmony. Secondly, Autonomous Vehicles threaten the use of public space and in particular how roads are shared in cities and towns. Thirdly, almost surreptitiously, new small mobility devices threaten the use of footpaths and in particular the peace of those wishing to stroll along or parents with young children. This paper explores the how to extend the use of streets from the current mixes of pedestrians, bikes and traffic and introduce three protected networks, 1 - Walking only, 2 – Recreational and access trails for Families together some using mobility devices and 3 - Combining bikes with mobility devices for longer regional access. These networks can be achieved by looking holistically at streets designs and layouts whilst at the same time achieve cost savings and environmentally benefits.

 

Heather Stouder, Planning Division Directorand Matt Mikolajewski, Economic Development Director, City of Madison, WI, USA. Madison's Capitol East District - An Isthmus for Everyone

A 100-acre, mile-wide isthmus between two lakes adjacent to the Wisconsin Capitol is home to one of the most inclusive neighborhood transformations in the Midwest. After decades of underutilization, since 2005, the district has seen a $300 million increase in property values, over 1,200 new housing units, and over 500,000 sf of commercial space. 
This paper will focus on the ingredients giving rise to the Capitol East District as an example of a healthy and inclusive neighborhood transformation. Once identified as a policy priority of the Mayor and Council, the process began with deliberate resident engagement to maximize the efficiency and broad community benefits within a limited land area. New housing ranges from market rate to affordable for low and moderate income households, and the district includes a brand new homeless day resource center to support those without a home. New commercial space houses major national employers, a vibrant entrepreneurial center, and a new full-service grocery store, alongside a few key businesses that have been here for decades. The adjacent lakes and a variety of high-quality parks in the area support active living. The City’s most traveled bike path and significant transit service create connectivity within the Capitol East District and to the rest of the City. 
With a sustained focus on health, equity, and livability, we are confident that this corridor will continue to be a lead case study of successful investment. We welcome the opportunity to share our efforts. 

 

T.

Scott Truex, Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Ball State University, Muncie, In, USA. The Importance of Place in the Planning Process

Civic engagement in the planning process has evolved in many ways. Public meetings, websites, and input techniques have become standard practices when developing strategies to make more livable neighborhoods and cities. Visioning has advanced from hand renderings to 3D animation and high-tech flythroughs.  

One city, Indianapolis added a unique component to their downtown planning effort - a place for the plan, an address associated with a process, a community center for ideas to incubate and grow into a vision for the future.  

The idea of a "plan having its own place" has been a trademark of downtown planning for the City of Indianapolis since the 1960's. Planners decided that revitalizing the central city should not be done from city hall or random meeting rooms. Instead, they wanted the plan to have a home, a place to share vital statics, showcase urban trends and highlight community assets. Indeed, a place for the formal meeting by steering and advisory participants but also a place to drop in during lunch or bring a colleague in to debate an idea.

The storefront creates a street presence inviting pedestrians – not just every day downtowners but also visitors - each with an opportunity to learn and contribute to a vision for the future of the downtown. Having a physical presence allows the planning process to be on display daily and expands participation with lunch-n-learns, lectures/presentation, displays/exhibits, and celebrations.

The session will explain the “Importance of Place in Planning.” 

 

W.

Meredith Wenskoski, President, Livable Cities Studio, Denver, CO, USA. Sun Valley: Equity and Economic Mobility as a Driver for Neighborhood Redevelopment

As cities continue to experience unprecedented growth, how can neighborhoods be designed with buildings and public spaces that infuse our interventions with inspiration, authenticity, livability, and ultimately foster greater social equity? An in-depth study of the Sun Valley Neighborhood in Denver provides a view into new planning, design and partnership strategies that look to transform a high-poverty, high-vacancy area with large swaths of surface parking and distressed public housing into a holistic neighborhood that will be home to over 3,000 residents, 300 jobs and new or enhanced neighborhood services. As with many neighborhoods, Sun Valley suffers from decades of decline and community issues focused on poverty, safety, and isolation. Rich in culture with a colorful and diverse population, it also includes the highest local concentration of recent immigrants, who bring distinct local languages, art, customs and traditional events into the community fabric. With a focus on redevelopment initiatives that center on social returns and benefits for its culturally diverse resident population, the neighborhood looks to transform lowest income community in Colorado into a next-generation community. This topic presents a detailed study of redevelopment strategies that focus on providing residents with opportunities for local business, increased access to quality jobs and education, improved housing, integrated community public spaces and sustainable district energy.

 

Pamela Wideman, Director, Housing & Neighborhood Services, City of Charlotte - Local Government, NC, USA. Housing Charlotte "A Framework for Building and Expanding Access to Opportunity through HOusing Investments

The need for affordable housing throughout the Unites States is overwhelming, yet it is fundamental to the national infrastructure. Approximately 11m households spend more than half of their income on rent and are forced to make choices about food, transportation, medication and other basic needs. Very few cities throughout the US have an adequate supply of affordable housing while experiencing a growing population.  

The affordable housing challenge is further exacerbated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Administrations dwindling resources and limited state and local resources to address this growing need. Previously successful programs like the HOPE VI Program have been replaced by lesser funded programs like the Choice Neighborhoods Program.  

Local governments cannot solve the affordable housing challenge alone. It is going to require a collaborative effort that entails working collaboratively with public and private sector partners.

This paper will provide panel will provide a three-pronged approach: expansion (new construction), preservation and self-sufficiency for how the City of Charlotte is addressing its affordable housing challenges.

Participants will benefit by learning about strategies and seeing examples of how they can use this three-pronged approach and strategies in their municipalities to address the growing affordable housing challenges and needs throughout the country and abroad.

 

David Woltering, Community Planning Consultant, Woltering Community Planning, LLC, Santa Rosa, CA, USA. Experiencing the Health Benefits of the San Francisco Bay Trail

This paper shares a very successful example of “Healthy Transportation Planning” - the San Francisco Bay Trail, a multi-use (bicycle and pedestrian) trail that when fully completed will be approximately 500 miles in length encircling both San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay in California, U.S.A. The paper will provide details about the history, regional cooperation, and guiding principles related to realizing the vision of the Bay Trail; many of the benefits, including the health benefits of this multi-use trail; and the author’s experience both walking and bicycling major segments of the Bay Trail.

The San Francisco Bay Trail was first envisioned in 1986 by then California State Senator Bill Lockyer as a pedestrian and bicycle pathway around “The Bay”. This vision led to approval of Senate Bill 100 in 1987, providing the initial funding for the preparation of a Plan for the San Francisco Bay Trail. Since then over 340 miles of the trail have been completed, comprised of multi-use pathways, trails atop levees, bike lanes, and sidewalks. The Bay Trail links the shoreline areas of nine counties and passes through 47 cities. It provides recreational opportunities directly and indirectly to hikers, joggers, skaters, windsurfers, and individuals in wheelchairs and using walkers. With the proximity to shorelines, there is opportunity for wildlife viewing, environmental education, and appreciation of the Bay and its many attributes. 

In addition to recreation and education, the Bay Trail is a commute alternative for bicyclists, with connections to many Bay Area transportation facilities, including ferry terminals, light rail lines, bus stops, and fixed-rail lines of Caltrain, Amtrak, and BART. The Bay Trail provides connections and access to residential neighborhoods, schools, libraries, business parks, commercial areas, and recreation areas, including beaches, marinas fishing piers, and over 130 parks, totaling more than 57,000 acres of open space.

 

Short Sessions

Hyein Chae, PhD Student, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Impact and Implications of recent changes of Neighborhood Matching Fund program in Seattle

The main purpose of this paper is to examine recent changes of Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program in the City of Seattle. Launched in 1988, NMF has served as a representative community building program in Seattle that enables community organizations to implement a self-help planning through which communities figure out issues, initiate and complete projects by themselves. The main factor of the 30-year-long NMF program lies in Community Match system that requires communities to provide their resources exceeding a certain amount of earned grants so that enables them to realize how many resources their neighborhoods possess while searching for various resources such as volunteers, materials, professional services. The recent amendment of NMF program including change of Community Match requirement aimed to make the program more accessible, user-friendly, easy to understand for community groups. The most significant changes, activated since 2017, are as follows: 1) reduction of a minimum requirement of Community Match, 2) increase of application opportunities per a year, 3) decrease of rating steps, 4) change of final decision maker from Mayor to Director of Department of Neighborhood. Despite only 2 years after the improvement, NMF program began achieving meaningful results such as a growth of applications by 45 percent for large projects. In the sense, this paper investigates these changes and their palpable impacts assuming that the improvement encourages communities’ participation. Given the long-standing discussion about challenges of institutional participation, this study is expected to provide implications to relationships between public and private agencies.

 

David A. Driskill, Director, UrbanTech College of Architecture, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. Mapping Texas Cities for Livability

Inspired by the Congress for New Urbanism, patterns from “A Pattern Language”, and transportation options six Texas cities are mapped for livability. A three mile transect representing three densities of population ringing a concentrated center of development represents the model. The transect is a 10-minute commute by automobile or 15 minutes by bicycle. A 10-minute walk takes you from the development center into the second density ring. Development centers are identified in some cases by the cities being mapped and by the height of clustered structures in others. In addition to proximity of live, work, play and learn, proximity of nature is mapped. A ten-minute walk to a natural area or park is considered desirable. The cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso and Lubbock, Texas are used for comparison. Houston has a population of 2 million people within the city limits and Lubbock has a population of 250,000. San Antonio is one of the oldest Spanish settlements in Texas dating from 1718 and Lubbock was settled in 1890. All the Texas cities mapped lack density of population. In the cities developed with midcentury zoning, the population density and the development centers do not correspond. The older, Latino cities have corresponding centers of development and population. The natural setting for the cities vary from tropical landscapes to semi-arid prairies. Each landscape provides unique natural features and parks. Each map contains large areas of void and overlapping qualities. Who lives in the void and the overlaps is explored.

 

Sandra González Álvarez, School of architecture of A Coruña, COAG, APATRIGAL, SPAIN. The city of tomorrow

How can we recover the identity of the city? How art can inspire new generations to understand our cities? How can the city be a meeting or exchange place again? How can we feel safe again inside our homes, in the neighborhood, in the city? How can we make of the city is our place? What should we do so that the city stops being something associated with dirty, gray, monstrosity? These are the issues that we deal with “The City of tomorrow”.

“The City of tomorrow” is an artistic educational project whose objective is to make aware of all the scales of the common: architecture, art, heritage, urban planning and landscaping, since childhood and through games. The project presents through a week of workshops in different villages in Galicia.

The main goal of our project is to make childhood and adolescence is actively present in the construction process of public space (squares, neighborhoods, cities) providing children and teenagers with the necessary tools to develop their creativity through ART AND ARCHITECTURE. The purpose is to raise a certain curiosity in them and to awaken their interest in the spaces where urban life is evolving.

 

Claudia Heinzl, Architect, Student of Geography, University of Vienna. Neighborhood Parks: Challenges and opportunities for Social Integration. An example from Vienna

In a growing city like Vienna, public spaces represent important meeting points for social interaction and communication between the different social groups. The present research project focuses on neighborhood parks, which are essential parts of the city’s public spaces. As main objective, the impact of design and spatial concept on the integrative potential of the parks was investigated. The research was accomplished in Margareten, a densely built, diverse viennese district with high pressure on public space. We examined five small-scale parks with comprehensively different spatial concepts. After reviewing the structural data (to identify possible users), observations and semi-structured interviews with visitors were conducted. Thus, the presence and absence of different social groups, interactions and conflicts - in relation to space - could be examined. It could be determined, that the parks represent meaningful meeting points. As every individual park addresses different user groups, we could demonstrate that usage and attraction is highly influenced by the spatial design and by the surrounding urban fabric. Furthermore, due to their different spatial concepts, the parks - considered as a whole – address a huge variety of different needs. Therefore, instead of seeking to satisfy all the different needs in every small-scale park, it is more appropriate to consider small-scale parks as components of a network of public spaces. By strengthening the characteristic features of each park (under consideration of weaker groups), the identification potential may be fostered. Social cohesion within the neighborhoods may be enhanced, which in turn improves the inhabitants’ quality of life.

 

Karl Korfmacher, Dr., Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Environmental Science Program, Gosnell School of Life Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA. Using Storymaps to Explore Urban Ecology in Rochester, NY and Malmö, Sweden

As part of an on-going effort to provide Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) students with a variety of science focused study abroad opportunities, Drs. Karl Korfmacher and Elizabeth Hane developed an Urban Ecology course with a 2.5 week study abroad lab component partnering with Malmö University in Sweden.  The cities of Rochester and Malmö share many features, including a parallel industrial history that declined in the late 20th century and geographic proximity to ecologically sensitive international waters.  Malmö is transforming into an urban center for technology and investing heavily in green infrastructure and sustainability.  RIT and Malmö University students study these initiatives while in country, and the RIT students create Storymaps (https://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/) focusing on specific aspects of Urban Ecology.  These Storymaps are intended to provide examples and recommendations for Rochester to follow, and we are beginning to use the Storymaps to disseminate their ideas.  An example Storymap is found here –https://arcg.is/1y8XGP.  Helping to redesign cities to provide healthy, affordable, and sustainable living conditions for people without sacrificing environmental quality will require integrating knowledge and concepts from natural science, physical science, social science, and engineering with opportunities provided at the environments of the local and regional levels.  This paper outlines this study abroad initiative and provides examples of student Storymaps and lessons learned from our collaboration with Malmö University.

 

Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY, USA. Promoting local collaboration for health equity in the built environment

Communities, professionals, and researchers recognize that environmental factors contribute to the health inequities experienced by vulnerable populations in the U.S. These environmental health injustices persist despite well-developed systems for both public health and environmental protection. This paper examines successful local initiatives in Duluth, MN that aimed to alter the long term trends, decision structures, and institutions shaping the built environment to improve health equity. Over ten years ago, Duluth’s economic development officials began intentionally integrating health in brownfield redevelopment efforts. Around the same time, the city, county, and transportation agencies collaborated on a series of three health impact assessments to bring health equity into local plans. Meanwhile, a community coalition evolved to support diverse active transportation and “fair food access” efforts. Diverse collaborators developed commitment and capacity to promote health equity, forming a robust network across community organizations. These multiple streams of action culminated in the mayor’s declaration in 2016 that health and fairness would be adopted as key goals of the city’s new Comprehensive Plan. How did such innovative efforts thrive in a small, post-industrial city with limited resources? This paper analyzes the human, knowledge, and financial resources leveraged through collaboration to accomplish systems change. Throughout the country, community groups, researchers, government officials, and health professionals are working collaboratively – and often unofficially - at the local level to shape decisions about the built environment in ways that better protect vulnerable populations. This paper provides a framework to promote health equity through innovative local collaboration for health in all policies.

 

Ildiko Gabriella Kovacs, Child & Youth Friendly Communities Coordinator, PhD Student, The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY), Vancouver BC, CANADA. Urban Explorers: Child & Youth Engagement in Planning

In 2017-2018 The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) partnered with the City of Vancouver to implement the Urban Explorers program, delivering a sustainability education curriculum based on the critical constructivist ‘participatory planning pedagogy’ (PPP). SCY worked with three Vancouver-based schools and engaged a total of sixty upper-elementary-school children in two planning projects: ‘VanPlay’ Parks and Recreation Masterplan Update and the ‘Places for People’ Downtown Public Space Strategy.

SCY’s Child & Youth Friendly Communities projects, including the Urban Explorers program are a Children’s Right to the City initiative that build upon decades of work and research within the Child Friendly Communities and Growing up in Cities movements, as well us green urbanism and sustainable city initiatives. The main objective of these projects is to promote opportunities for young people to actively participate in urban life and local decision-making processes. SCY and the Children’s Right to the City movement acknowledges children to be both knowledge holders and knowledge seekers, who have the right and competence for full and equal participation in social and political aspects of their community. Children are not merely future adults, but citizens of the present who, if provided with the opportunity can and will be responsible citizens.

This paper will first present the Urban Explorers program, and the key features of its underlying ‘participatory planning pedagogy.’ Next, the paper will critically reflect on the process and outcomes, exploring the potentials and the ‘messiness’ of participatory work with children and youth.

 

Anna Kovacs-Gyori, PhD candidate, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, AUSTRIA. What is special about spatial aspects in subjective well-being analysis?

Subjective well-being (SWB) is a complex phenomenon originating from the interplay of various subjective and less subjective factors ranging from health conditions to standard of living. Although some of the SWB parameters have important spatial dimensions and aspects – particularly those characterizing the living environment where people potentially spend a significant amount of time – they are often neglected or underrepresented as a context in SWB studies. In our analysis, we investigated the role of spatial and environmental factors using self-reported SWB values of more than 2000 patients living in Innsbruck, Austria, combined with various spatial data sets characterizing the environment. The patients evaluated their current level of SWB anonymously on a scale from one to six, where six means the highest level of satisfaction with their life overall. These values, along with the patients’ addresses were used for geostatistical analysis to understand the connection between one’s home location, their health condition, and the self-reported SWB. We identified a set of environmental factors such as the characteristics of urban green spaces (e.g. proportion of surface, type), average building height, exposure to noise and air pollution, or the walkability of the area and used them as inputs for our analysis. Based on our results we can emphasize the role of the environment in terms of the spatial composition of SWB factors, and its relevance for urban planning purposes by identifying interrelation between factors such as the greenness of an area and SWB.

 

Sarah McJannet and Heather Evans, Senior Planners, District of Squamish, BC, CANADA. A Culture of Collaboration for Healthy Communities in BC, Canada: tales from 2 communities

Regional Health Authorities and local governments in British Columbia (BC), Canada are building a unique culture of collaboration around healthy communities. Vancouver Coastal Health, one of BC’s five regional health authorities, has developed multi-year community partnership agreements to kick-start conversations and deepen collaborations with local jurisdictions. This work extends far beyond these bilateral arrangements, encompassing National, Provincial and Regional partnerships that support collaboration and capacity-building. 

A cross-national initiative, Healthy Canada by Design, between 2010-2015, http://journal.cpha.ca/index.php/cjph/article/view/4566 built momentum and rigour, and brought partners at many levels from national organizations (e.g. National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health) to provincial, regional and local communities. The Healthy Communities Initiative by the Provincial Ministry of Health, has furthered that work. Population health surveys (My Health My Community) are bringing evidence to expand local understandings about how lifestyle, environment, neighbourhood characteristics and daily interactions affect health over time. And at a local and regional level, municipal governments and health authorities are working in new ways together with political, staff and community audiences to ensure a health and health equity lens is included in multiple projects so all citizens can truly thrive.
Two communities’ stories, one urban one rural, demonstrate these healthy community collaborations in action over several years: District of Squamish BC and the City of North Vancouver BC. The partnerships have provided new opportunities and funds for bridge building, networking, catalyzing, convening and engaging around health topics. Coupled with data, advocacy, education, as well as policy and project support, powerful collaborations are emerging in BC.

 

Marianne Seifert, Community Liaison, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Tacoma, WA, USA.Why Care About Land Use Planning?

How do we communicate the value of long-range land use planning to people who aren’t planners? We show how it affects what’s in neighborhoods where they live, learn, work, play and pray. We show how it affects their health and well-being. We track and communicate measures. We use these data and share stories about our everyday experiences.

In Washington State, four county public health agencies have been working with local and regional planners to ingrate public health into planning. We’ve heard how elected officials, planners and others value health and well-being. What’s next?

Puget Sound Regional Council is currently updating our region’s Vision 2050 growth management plan, which guides regional and local planning. To help communicate the value of this work to those who aren’t planners, we created a simple visual model showing how regional and local planning affect our health and well-being. We then developed a set of measures to track and communicate, using data from the Washington Tracking Network and other sources. Measures include air, land, housing, transportation, physical health, mental/behavioral health and social health.

Does this model and these measures make sense to you? How might we improve them? How might we communicate them to people who aren’t planners? What resonates best with different people, in your experience?

 

Kanika Tomalin, Deputy Mayor, Healthy St. Pete Coordinator, City of St. Petersburg, FL, USA. Making Health a Priority in St. Petersburg

The city of St. Petersburg Florida has embarked on a mission to become a model city where all residents have the opportunity and resources necessary to reach optimal health. Recognizing that this ambitious one that will require us to address the social determinants of health that influence health outcomes in areas such as; transportation, education, employment, physical and social environments, housing, and access to health care. The Healthy St. Pete program was launched in response to a pressing need for an innovative solution. This multi-faceted approach aims to build a culture of health, reduce health inequities, and implement policy change. Healthy St. Pete programs include; Get Fit St. Pete, Community Resource Bus, Health360, and HealthyKids these programs are working to improve healthy behaviors, access to care, and connection resources. Through the Affordable Housing Disposition Program organizations such as Celebration Outreach have been able to offer affordable housing solutions. The addition of our Financial Empowerment Center and Early Childhood Certification Program by our Urban Development Office, point some of our most vulnerable residents toward financial security. The city is taking aim at improving active mobility through the Bike Friendly Business and Bike Share programs and the implementation of a Complete Streets plan. Healthy St. Pete acts as the point of convergence for health planning with the recent formal adoption of a “Health in All Policies” framework. These combined efforts are weaving a tapestry of hope ensuring good health is a reality for every resident in St. Petersburg.

 

Pecha Kucha

Joshua Brooks, Master Student and Professional Urban Designer/Landscape Architect, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA. Paths to Safety: Quantitative Analysis of Urban Design Variables + Their Impact on Pedestrian Crash Rates in Boston

A woman walking to work, across an intersection utilized daily, is hit and killed by a car. Is it an accident? Or is it an inevitable result of the engineering which has made America a more dangerous place to move around. In 2017 there was between two and three times more pedestrian deaths per capita in the U.S. than in several European countries despite having pedestrian densities nearly four times less than those same countries. These contradicting statistics raise the question of what factors result in such higher rates of pedestrian crashes. Utilizing data collected and categorized by the City of Boston’s Vision Zero Campaign, this paper highlights the connection between spatial attributes of the public realm and the rates of pedestrian crashes within the city. The study utilizes a GIS model to place data into uniform geographies across the city. Then a new variable, rate of crash per pedestrian, is created and analyzed through a multi-step regression test, determining how that variable relates to spatial conditions within the public realm. The study found a significant correlation between spatial attributes like sidewalk width, right-of-way width, street light density, street tree density and the rate of pedestrian crashes across the City demonstrating that certain spatial characteristics of our cities’ street design likely have a strong impact on safety. However, the results contradict the current practices of most city, state, and federal DOTs which are still creating bigger, faster, and more clear roads to move cars. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, or worse yet killed, is it an accident? This study, while focused on pedestrians only, offers a methodology for quantitively understanding the impacts of our built environment on transportation safety that can be used to create metrics for designing a safer future.

 

Anna Cawrse, Landscape Architect, Sasaki, Boston, MA, USA. The Antidote: A WiFi Free Park

1. People are more connected to each other than ever before through social media, professional networks or even virtual reality.

2. A missed moment is an anomaly in today’s plugged-in society rendering the unexpected experience nearly extinct.
3. We are in the midst of an epidemic caused by constantly being connected; mental fatigue is the biggest side effect.
4. Boredom, once seen in a negative light, is now an elusive experience that we desperately need for our minds to recharge.
5. The antidote: Parks!
6. Parks and urban forests have incredible health benefits that range from reduced stress to increased happiness.
7. Charles Montgomery’s The Happy City explores the value of introducing nature into cities and advocates for bringing more “green” to cities.
8. You can experience the health benefits of these natural environments without going into places of big nature like the Rocky Mountains.
9. New activities such as forest bathing, urban safaris and muck runs are popping up all over the cities and encouraging people to be out in their parks.
10. However, many new parks, especially in urban settings, are pushing to become state of the art which includes installing the latest technology throughout the public realm.
11. Adding technology into parks is creating places that function as an extension of the office.
12. Benches track data usage, light fixtures charge phones and free wifi within the park is as common as the proverbial bench placed every 150 feet. 
13. Yet, what might appear as a way to encourage people to come to parks is neutralizing the health benefits we receive from the original park antidote.
14. Sitting plugged in on a bench limits the restorative experience.
15. The antidote: WiFi Free Parks!
16. Through designs that emphasize impromptu meetings, human connections and the ability to be bored, we can create public spaces that leave people feeling happier and encourage them to live a healthier life.
17. A livable city requires both the latest in technology and understanding of the simplest human needs.
18. While limiting wifi will not solve our country’s nature deficit disorder, it is acknowledging that we must think differently about designing and programming our public spaces.
19. It is time to take back the parks, open spaces and urban forests as places to recharge our minds and not our phones.
20. No wifi? It is time to say hi!

Martin Barrera, Redevelopment Project Manager, City of Austin and Christine Freundl, City of Austin,Austin, TX. Pecha Kucha - The Role of Community Participatory Planning Processes in Creating Healthy Neighborhoods and Communities

To be read in the voice of a 1940’s radio announcer reading a serial cliffhanger.


1) City seeks funding to invest in an under-resourced existing neighborhood. Have they learned lessons from their troubled past?
2) The city awarded HUD Challenge Grant funding to achieve HUD livability principles on 208 acres of vacant land in and adjacent to existing neighborhoods.  
3) City crashes and burns at their first attempt to connect with the community. The community claims a seat at the table. But how will the city react? 
4) Community and City enter mediation to establish effective communication and team building workshops.  
5) City seeks a master planning consultant team. Will an ally help them connect with the community?  
6) City crashes and burns again when staff recommended consultant team is rejected by the community. Is this the end or will our city heroes rebound?
7) City council rejects staff recommendation and engages with the community’s preferred consultant team. Can the city work with the community’s ally to achieve their collective goals?
8) City engages local University for public engagement consulting. The city is still searching for an ally to help them connect with the community.  
9) City and University form Technical Advisory Groups and Community Advisory committees to engage with staff and the community.  
10) The project commences with a community-driven approach to participatory planning. 5 census tracts included in participatory planning efforts. But can the community hold the city accountable?  
11) The planning team begins capacity building workshops to engage with the community to prepare the community for participatory planning methods. Can the community use their newly acquired skills to plan an improved community?  
12) Community Listening Sessions and Planning workshops scheduled, and surveys distributed to the community.  
13) Preliminary Plans developed and community and neighborhood participation input received. But will the city listen to the community?
14) Community Advisory Committees review the proposed master plan and provide input.
15) Technical Advisory Groups review the proposed master plan and provide input.
16) The consultant team plans a Day of service for City staff, University Staff, Community members and consultants to work on a project at the neighborhood recreation center.
17) The planning team hosts an evening of possibilities, to present the final proposed master plan and celebrate the collaborative efforts and the community participatory planning process.
18) Master Plan and Design Guideline is fully supported by the community and approved by the City Council.  
19) Planned Unit Development Zoning District is fully supported by the community and approved by City Council and Master Plan approved and amended to the City’s comprehensive plan. Everyone wins when we work together  
20) To be continued or is this the end? Will history repeat itself when the city searches for a master developer partner, or have they learned their lesson? Tune in next year to find out. 

 

Lizzie Moll, Transportation Planner, Department of Transportation, City of Seattle, WA, USA. Re-thinking Wall-E! How new technologies will expand health and happiness

This lively presentation will highlight the potential uses of delivery bots and new micro mobility on human health and other potential social impacts.

Many jurisdictions are in the process of determining the benefits and risks of these technologies and how they fit into our values, priorities and literally, how they fit in our public right-of-way.

This pecha kucha will be debating "Wall-E was Right! The implications of new technologies on health and happiness" (submitted by …). Either we would debate one after another, or we would do a presentation together.

The presentation will be highly visual and will very briefly address issues of equity, health, employment, sidewalk space and regulation. It will provide some quick wit, food for thought and humor.

The Pecha Kucha will be organized along these lines:

• What do you see when you think of a bot?
• What problems do delivery bots solve?
• Mobility Images – what is micro-mobility?
• What problems do micro-mobility devices solve?
• Equity – Who benefits and who is harmed?
• A more democratic use of the right-of-way?
• How do pedestrians and other vehicles navigate in a mobility world?
• Public health benefits? Safety? Social interaction?

 

Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD, Professor and Chair, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Avoiding the Tobacco Swamp in Your Community: The Case for Reducing the Density of Tobacco Retailers

There are approximately 374,000 tobacco product retailers in the United States. In fact, there are 27 tobacco retailers for every 1 McDonalds. Tobacco products are sold at specialty retailers such discount tobacco stores and vape shops, but they are also sold at over 90% of supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, and chain pharmacies (except CVS). This high density of tobacco retailers is a public health problem because greater retailer density is linked with higher smoking rates at schools, more impulse purchase among smokers, and greater relapse among smokers who have successfully quit. Moreover, tobacco retailer density is substantially higher in low income and African American neighborhoods. Although regulating the number, type, and density of tobacco retailers is catching on in the field of public health, few people working in urban planning and the built environment know about the toxic effects of having "tobacco swamps" in their communities. Communities such as San Francisco, CA are implementing bold new regulations that will cut in half the number of tobacco retailers and that will address disparities in the spatial distribution of tobacco retailers. This presentation will discuss this new frontier in promoting healthy communities.

 

Diane Wiatr, Principal Planner, Department of Transportation, City of Seattle, WA, USA.Wall-E was Right!

This lively presentation will highlight the potential uses, hazards and consequences of delivery bots and new micro mobility on human health and other potential social impacts.

Many jurisdictions are in the process of determining the benefits and risks of these technologies and how they fit into our values, priorities and literally, how they fit in our public right-of-way.

The presentation will be highly visual and will very briefly and will  address issues of equity, health, employment, sidewalk space constraints and regulation. And in optimal pecha kucha form, it will provide some quick wit, food for thought and humor. 

The Pecha Kucha will be organized along these lines:
• Presentation Overview
• Bots and Micro-mobility v Human Health and other social issues
• Bot Images – what are they?
• What problems do delivery bots solve?
• Banksy Image – social art as commentary
• Mobility Images – what is micro-mobility?
• What problems do micro-mobility devices solve?
• Banksy Image – social art s commentary.
• Issues of Equity – Who benefits and who is harmed?
• Issues of Employment – Who is displaced by technology?
• Issues of Sidewalk Space Constraints – What happens to the green transportation hierarchy?
• Issues of Public Right-of-Way Clutter – How do we alleviate clutter?
• Issues of Ugliness – What about the aesthetics of these devices?
• Issues of Safety – How does the pedestrian survive intact?
• Issues of the Policy Gray Zone – How do get beyond gray and regulate? 
• Issues of Invention and Corporate Interest - How do we prioritize people over profit?
• Issues of Health – How is human health valued? What can we do to better insure it when a variety of devices are making laziness easier and easier?
• Banksy or other social art image
• Summarize and end on a (maybe) positive note

 

Posters

Marnissa Claflin, Student, Andrew Mondschein, Professor, Laura Nagle, Student and Michael Salgueiro, Student, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA. Putting Communities at the Center of Connected, Automated Mobility

This project explores ways that communities can reclaim control over their streets as Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and associated technologies become part of the urban fabric. Historic loss of flexible public space associated with the introduction of cars in the early 20th century and emerging concerns about management of CAVs today indicate that local governments and communities must reassert control over the planning and operation of streets. We define how technology can serve as a common language between citizens and CAVs, allowing communities to determine the design of streets and what the rules of a CAV-accessible road network should be. Critical to this approach is a direct relationship between policy and technology, with planners and regulators using technology to accomplish long-standing social objectives. Our analysis first describes possibilities—ways to leverage CAVs to create positive change in the built environment—and constraints—social, legal, and technological limitations on CAV functionality—from a review spanning planning, engineering, technology, policy, and sociology. Next, we investigate how cities and communities have begun to reimagine the use and management of streets in the face of disruptive technologies and diverse needs for which existing practices are inadequate. Building on current efforts in transportation planning, particularly efforts to increase flexibility and “tactical” action in streets, we propose strategies for increasing local control over urban streets using technologies inherent to CAVs. These strategies do not prescribe a single approach for all streets, but acknowledge differences of place and culture by returning decision-making power to the people living alongside those streets.

Chetan Kulkarni, Graduate Student, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, Austin, TX, USA. The City-Suburb Inescapability

The future growth of Berlin extends beyond its current extents into Brandenburg region. The emergent urban centers locate close to the current periphery around Brandenburg countryside. A mix of residential and occupational activities that emerge towards mid-21st century will distort the conventional understanding of the city and countryside. To respond to this diffusion of aspirations between city and suburbs is expose the anatomy of a roving society. A society that straddles the city and the countryside for all aspects of existence. To move between various districts is to experience maximum urbanity adjacent to the bucolic solace of countryside.

The paper would present three design strategies that highlight densification trends of Berlin towards 2050 — inner city urban renewal, peripheral development for new communities and reprogramming of large-scale public spaces. These strategies will highlight the bottom-up urban engagement of individual experiences in Berlin, against top-down density and environmental planning of Brandenburg region, in response to degrees of risks to environmental and public health. New developments in 21st century must address this city-suburb inescapability. The paper will discuss rejuvenation of the cold air pathways that form Berlin’s air exchange system, soft regulatory channeling of wind patterns along relief valleys of rivers Spree and Havel, and address concerns regarding flooding in event of high precipitation. This combined urban design and environmental conservation detailed in the paper will highlight how residents, asylum seekers and immigrants, can be unified into a resilient and healthy society.

Annabelle Wilkinson, Graduate Student, Zeenat Kotval-K., Assistant professor and Eva Kassens-Noor, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. Transportation for the elderly and low-income residents in Michigan

Our paper discusses the importance of public transit for the elderly, low-income residents, and minorities. Based on ~6000 surveys across the state of Michigan, we analyze the satisfaction with local transit services of these transit groups in comparison to those who are wealthy, young, and Caucasian. We find that especially the elderly and those with special needs are highly satisfied and thankful for public transit and that medical trips are by far the most important trip category. No shows, or difficulty in arranging rides, severely impacted these groups’ satisfaction with the transit services provided. We emphasize that transit agencies should expand their services to low income groups, the elderly, and those with special needs as social interactions and regular medical visits significantly improve their quality of life.