Elizabeth Burton reminds us of the close connection between housing and health, and proposes better ways to gauge how housing may affect the health and well-being of residents.
Until the early 1900s, asserts Burton, the relationship between housing and health was seen as inextricably linked. Over time, health moved into the domain of healthcare provision, architecture became more closely aligned with art, and town planning with economic and environmental concerns. Shining light on the health challenges of contemporary life, including the rise of lifestyle-related diseases, coupled with increased human longevity, she urges us to do away with these artificial silos, and to realign our concerns with health and well-being by envisioning the "housing of the future”.
When Burton refers to health, she is referring to more than just physical health and obesity, but rather overall well-being and happiness. She points to several possible key features for designing homes with well-being in mind-- including the provision of “better space” that is organized and designed to accommodate families as they relax together or alternatively, as each member does their own thing. Other features in housing could aim to “boost our mood” such as the incorporation of abundant natural light and views of green space.
Finally, she compares the possibility of a rating system for housing to that of rating food, "[j]ust as for food we know not just what we like to eat but also what is likely to be good for us, [similarly] in housing we could know a bit more about how a home is likely to affect different aspects of our well-being."
Planning for Congestion Relief
The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.
Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think
Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.
New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives
The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.
Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport
Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.
Strip Malls as a Housing Solution
The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?
Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’
A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.
City of Redwood City
City of Rohnert Park
City of Hot Springs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.