Question of the Month: Community Health

California has a reputation for being healthy, having consistently good weather, and promoting outdoor activities – but in reality we have just as many health problems as the rest of America which cannot be ignored. Some of the notorious problems affecting California include childhood obesity, asthma due to poor air quality (especially in Los Angeles), heart disease and diabetes.
As designers, we believe that innovation can change the way we live and our overall quality of life. With this in mind, we asked the studio:

What innovations at the state, city or individual level would improve the health of our community?

Erin W – For Los Angeles, the innovation we need is in our way of thinking and the way we make transportation policy. As long as every planning and building policy made supports individual automobile ownership over public transit, walkability, and bikability, the members of our community will spend hours of their time sitting in traffic that could be spent in healthier ways. Policies and facilities that support biking have the most potential impact, since the average bicycle commuter loses 13 pounds in their first year of commuting.

Sigita – Making preventative medicine cheaper, more available and more accepted. Often, we only address a problem when its too late; instead, we could focus on keeping the healthy people healthy, and take the time to educate the community on preventative care. This includes everything from promoting the benefits of exercise to acupuncture – some of the leading causes of preventable deaths are hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol and malnutrition; all of which might be avoided by preventative care and education.
Eric S – I think one of the most important contributors to health is the food we eat.

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  1. Zguem on 

    Los Angeles needs a better public transport network. This city has been built with the car, and needs some changes. There are not many bus stations, and the metro delivers a to limited number of places. In Europe for example, or in Brasil (Curitiba), innovations have been made around public transports, wich are clean and cheap transports. The question today would also be “what innovations would lead people to use the public transports instead of their car?”
    ps : my english isn’t perfect, I’m french!

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