RDG Planning & Design
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Healthy People, Healthy Places: All the Pieces

Discussions of public health typically focus on access to health care and promoting individual physical and mental health, but these factors are only part of the big picture.  What does it take to understand all of the pieces that make up the whole of public health?

It's hard to have public health without jobs. Contaminated water and abused natural resources undermine public health. Spaces unsafe or unwelcoming lead to poor health of people and places.

This residency focuses on designing a tool to understand the "public health status" of a space or place leading to a vision for its future, based on the findings of the assessment.

Our testing ground for the tool? The soon-to-be vacated downtown Des Moines YMCA site (a new facility is under construction). We will shape the means to assess the site, conduct some level of analysis, and (if time) offer a vision for the area's future based on our new understandings.

We’ll test our tool at the macro scale, by using it to understand the City of Des Moines’ Park System. City Parks Director Ben Page has agreed to work with us.

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