Context - Summer 2016 - (Page 7)

EDITOR'S LETTER BY RICHARD ROARK, RLA, ASLA, LEED ® AP BD+C PHOTO: SAHAR COSTON-HARDY Can we design our way out of the 21st Century Health Crisis? On any given day I take my commute by train, from Mount Airy to Center City, quickly power walk into work, secure my morning dose of caffeination and plunge into my seat behind the wheel of my desktop to plow my way through the work week. It's a very sedentary lifestyle, despite my daily commitment to walk up the stairs to our 11th floor offices. There are wistful moments when I am moving about town where I can take a step back and ponder what this assemblage of urbanity is all about and how it's shaping us individually and as a community. For this issue of Context we had the opportunity to engage with those who are re-examining the continuum of health in the built environment from planning to playground. And there's no time to waste in Philadelphia's most recent Health Impact Assessment, of the 11 largest metro areas Philadelphia County suffers from the highest rates of preventable diseases from obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure. On top of that these diseases are taking the greatest toll on those with fewest resources in our community. All is not lost, Philadelphia has begun reversing these trends in recent years and I'm proud to say that there are a cadre of Philadelphia designers working to reverse these pervasive trends. Healthy design is not limited to doctor offices, hospitals and nursing homes, it's a much broader topic or at least it should be if we wish to create a better quality of life and foster social equity for the communities we serve. This issue examines health in the everyday world, it provides a contemporary snapshot of how our environment is shaping us and how health care providers are turning to designers for new insights into providing health care. How can we insure the children have safe places to play? How can our homes adapt as we age and change? Why did we lose our birds, bees and toads and am I next? I believe the challenges embedded in these questions are ones that Philadelphia's design community can answer with a new generation of creative vitality. ■ Richard Roark is a partner at OLIN where he has worked on projects such as the new US Embassy in London and Dilworth Park in Philadelphia. In addition, he is an active volunteer with Community Design Collaborative. AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2016 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Summer 2016

Editor's Letter
Up Close
Rediscovering the Neighborhood: Creating a healthy environment of Care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Risky Business: The Dangers of Playgrounds That Are Too Safe
Senior Living, LGBT Style
Design Profiles
Index to Advertisers

Context - Summer 2016