The Well-Adjusted School: Addressing Childhood Obesity Through the Architecture of Canadian Schools
Donahue, Meghan Shanly
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This thesis explores the relationship between the built environment and the effects that it can have on a child’s ability to value a healthy lifestyle. As children spend the majority of their time in schools, and are heavily influenced by their surrounding built environment, it is appropriate to examine the architecture of an urban school and understand how it can have a lasting impact in molding a child’s future well-being. This thesis takes a critical position on the typical academically focused pedagogy of schools. The aim is a transformation that not only impacts a child’s academic outlook but also the child’s ability to develop a healthy lifestyle. The design approach recognizes the three most influential aspects in a child’s life that will lead them towards a healthy lifestyle as a young adult. These include community and family, physical activity and healthy food. These critical stimuli help to develop the design framework that can also be applied to a range of other design environments to promote a positive, healthy atmosphere. Using downtown Calgary, Alberta as the research milieu I look to take best advantage of the surrounding urban conditions to facilitate the design of a school using a design strategy that accommodates enhanced physical activity and healthy dietary concerns.