Urban Wellness

Heirs property is a significant legal issue for homeowners and communities across the American southeast. Previously, however, it was difficult to assess know the extent of heirs property; therefore it has been difficult to assess its impact on communities. This paper proposes a method for identifying heirs property and judging community impact and uses Wake County, North Carolina as a case study for these methods. The second part of this paper discusses current and proposed options for communities dealing with heirs property.

Urban Wellness: Towards Restorative Environments in Hospitals

Typical Hospital Room_Modeling: Sketchup; Rendering: Artlantis Studio; Entourage: Photoshop

Urban Wellness was a year long project completed as part of my undergraduate thesis in Architecture from Penn State University. My primary interest in completing this project was exploring the ways in which building design, specifically hospital design, can impact the physical and psychological quality of life of the persons that inhabit that space. This ideas is sometimes referred to as 'neuro-architecture' or 'evidence-based design.' For example, 'improved environment' reduced length of hospital stays by 21 percent and reduced 'usages of analgesics' by 59 percent.(1)

My thesis concluded that four design elements were important to enhancing a patient's well-being in a hospital: daylighting, landscape, a sense of place or 'owning your environment', and ability to interact with other socially.

In order to illustrate these principals, I designed an addition to St. Joesph's Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, that followed these principals. Daylighting, building orientation, ample landscaping and interior courtyards, and spaces for social interaction were built into hospital design while still maintaining the technical specifications required for efficient, modern healthcare.

Wall Section_Modeling: AutoCAD; Coloring and Shading: Illustrator