Community Health, Urban Possibilities and a Sense of Place

Happy New Year to you all, we wish you the best in this coming year and look forward to 2017. Being that we are located in Los Angeles, today I will talk about urban cities and the role us design professionals can play in making urban cities a better place. For all of you reading this who may be living in rural areas, do not worry, as one of my next blogs will be written on the rural landscape.

It is in our hands as design professionals to help urban communities through what we know best, landscape designs that provides opportunities for people. 

A major problem urban communities have is the lack of accessibility to healthy food options. Urban communities are located in food desserts, where one must drive miles and miles to have access to fresh foods. We as landscape designers must designate in our designs land where the community can grow their own food.  Community gardens are a huge success nationwide but yet are not always implemented when needed in our designs. Community gardens create the opportunity for people in the community to connect, learn a trade and heal. Community gardens provide the opportunity for those with physical and mental sicknesses to heal in a holistically way. It also provides the opportunity for those who are not able to drive many miles to buy fresh organic food the opportunity to have access to healthy foods.  Many people wish to have access to healthy food but because that is not an option they are forced to eat unhealthy foods.   We as landscape designers have to create employment opportunities within our designs. Whether it is creating employment for years to come in what we design or providing the community the opportunity to work in the implementation process of the design. This provides the opportunity for people in urban communities to learn a trade and build a connection with the project. This also allows the opportunity for the community to add their personal touch to the project as well. It is in our hands to provide the opportunity for communities to create a healthier urban community that will benefit themselves. We must trust and work closely to the community of which we are working in and provide them the opportunity to add their own personal touch. We must design sustainable affordable housing, community gardens and other features that lead to happiness and well being in urban communities.

I wish you all a prosperous 2017 and hope you all are having a great week.

Best wishes,

-Jessie Salazar