Walkability, density, and mixed-use have become key terms in the conversation about designing our cities to promote healthy lifestyles. In an interview with behavioral psychologist, Dr. James Sallis of the University of California San Diego in The Globe and Mail, Sallis discusses how his research reveals key design elements that encourage physical activity. In the 20th century, the automobile and new ideals in urban planning radically changed the way in which cities were structured. Residential and commercial areas were divided and highways were built to criss-cross between them. Suburban sprawl rescued city dwellers from dense urban environments that had gained a reputation for being polluted and dangerous. In recent decades, planners, policy makers and environmentalists have noted how these seemingly healthy expansions have had an adverse affect on our personal health and the health of our built environment. Today, the conversation is heavily structured around how welcoming density, diversity and physical activity can help ameliorate the negative affects that decades of mid-century planning have had on health. Sallis describes how much of a psychological feat it is to change the adverse habits that have developed over the years and how design, in particular, can help encourage the change.
Taking place Saturday, August 18 from 10am-2pm, the Society of Architectural Historians/Southern California Chapter will explore the transformative power of architecture, art and design at Culver City’s Hayden Tract, where award-winning architect Eric Owen Moss has been creating innovative structures for 25 years. In creating a vibrant community for creative workers in what was once a bleak industrial area, we begin to ask ourselves, ‘Can architecture be used as a catalyst for positive social change?’
The day includes a panel discussion featuring Frederick & Laurie Samitaur-Smith, the enlightened developers of “Conjunctive Points”; a self-conducted walking tour of over 20 buildings and art installations in the area; light refreshments at the Samitaur Tower; and closing remarks. For more information, please visit here.
Architects: Bestor Architecture
Project Location: Culver City, California, USA
Project Team: Barbara Bestor (Principal), Cathy Johnson (Project Architect), John Colter (Senior Designer)
Landscape Architect: Urban Organics Landscape Design, Nicholas Tan
Structural: Gordon Polon Engineering
Contractor: Colin Thompson
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Ray Katchatorian
Eric Owen Moss Architects designed a multi-media tower which will sit at the primary entrance of the re-developed zone in Culver City, California. The objective of the tower is to distribute art and other relevant content to the local and in-transit audiences passing by the site.
Further project description and more images after the break.