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Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative - Academic Programs - Student Work - 2011 - Syllabus

Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative - Academic Programs - Student Work - 2011 - Syllabus

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ARCH UD-60703spring 2011
 The built environment shapes virtually all aspects of health and wellbeing through its impact on our everyday lives and the choices we can make. Positive environments, which offer safe opportunitesfor physical activity, social interaction, stress relief and recreation alongside easy access to jobs,schools and essential services contribute greatly to all aspects of our health and wellbeing.Many immigrants originate from regions of the world where lifestyle-associated behaviourscontributing to chronic diseases, particularly those associated with obesity, inactivity and diet, areless prevalent than those observed in the developed world.
Fig. 1 The determinantsof health
This studio makes a connection between two research topics;
environmentaldeterminants of health
(Fig. 1) and the phenomenon referred to as the
HealthyImmigrant Effect
. The studio will use urban design strategies to analyze urban immigrant
communities and develop new ways of adapting these communities to reect the cultural
preferences and practices of various immigrant groups. The goal of this research effortis to identify ways that communities can be designed to promote healthy, active lifestylesand improve public health outcomes.Walkability, proximity to parks and green spaces, access to public transportation andperception of safety are all characteristics of the built environment that have been linked to increased physical activity and health (McCann, Ewing, 2003)(Loukaitou-Sideris,2006). The Healthy Immigrant Effect is a generally accepted phenomenon where recentimmigrants are found to be healthier than native-born counterparts, but over time, thishealth advantage dissipates (Oxman-Martinez et al., 2000)(Gushulak, 2007).For example, immigrant women are about 10 percentage points lesslikely to be overweight than natives at entry, and they close 90%of the gap within 10 years of U.S. residence (Antecol, 2006).Although a growing body of research is building the linkbetween health outcomes and the built environment,generalized urban design strategies for improving 
resident health may not recognize culturally specic
needs and desires of immigrant communities. In thisresearch studio, students will be involved in the process
of creating new knowledge, which will follow a dened
research methodology, and work towards the goal of better understanding to what extent the needs of thefocus communities are unmet. Design proposals will then
be developed to address these environmental deciencies,
ultimately fostering healthy, active lifestyles.
Dr. Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency 
Northern IrelandDr. Brian Gushulak, Migration Health Consultants Inc.
Age, sex,hereditaryfactors
METHODTargetCommunitiesimplications forURBAN DESIGN
The studio will engage in 4 primary activities:
The rst activity is conducting a literature review of relevant research
1. on the topicsof environmental determinants of health, immigrant communities and researchmethodology related to the design process. Some preliminary reference material hasbeen collected, but annotated bibliographies of the documents must be writtenThe second activity is a baseline environmental assessment of the target2. geographicareas using a data collection tool for environment features linked to physical activity.TheIrvine-Minnesota Inventory to Measure Built Environmentswill be used block byblock to measure the physical environment’s capacity for active living. Assemblage of base maps and GIS data will also occur simultaneously. (Will be conducted in groups)The third is a series of surveys and focus groups with key constituents3. of the Chineseand Bhutanese-Nepali immigrant and refugee populations living in the two targetneighborhoods. The focus groups will discuss the physical character of immigrants’native communities, the types of physical activities they engaged in prior to migration,what they engage in now, and how the physical environment of their currentneighborhoods could be adapted to encourage active living. (Will be conducted ingroups)The fourth is development of design proposals for the two different geographic4. areasbased on analysis of the environmental assessment and feedback from the focusgroups. (Will be conducted individually)Based on extensive conversations with organizations serving ethnic communities inCleveland including The Refugee Response, Hindu YUVA and Asian Services in Action, two
geographic target areas were selected for this study. The rst is Asia Town: a 40 block
area between E. 30th and E. 50th Streets along Superior Avenue. Among the foreign-bornAsians in this area, 80 percent are Chinese and the others are a mix, primarily, of Filipino,Korean and Vietnamese. The second geographic area is a site of new Asian immigrantsettlement between W. 140th and W. 150th Streets along Lorain Avenue in the West Parkneighborhood. This is an area where Bhutanese-Nepali refugees are concentrated.Immigration is a key issue in older industrial cities like Cleveland, which have experienced
signicant population decline over the last 50 years. Improving health outcomes for
immigrants will ideally lead to increased immigrant populations and the revitalizationof city neighborhoods. An abundance of vacant land is the most visible by-product of Cleveland’s population loss. Findings from this research will lead to more culturallyresonant strategies for putting vacant land to productive purposes such as activerecreation spaces, urban agriculture and neighborhood greening. Issues surrounding thebuilt form of the neighborhoods will also be addressed such as, appropriate residentialhousing typologies, mitigation of the harsh Cleveland weather and new approaches toexpressing cultural identity through built form. The contrasting urban conditions of the two sites provide useful contexts for developing varied health-related design strategies
benetting immigrant ethnic groups and the surrounding communities.

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