Upstream Neighbourhoods: Preventative Architecture to Resist Social Decay
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Health disparities and social inequities exist in every society, and architecture is well positioned to impact these issues for improved population health. Using the social determinants of health as a framework for architectural program, this thesis demonstrates the translation of health policy into the built environment, creating neighbourhoods that resist social decay. Vulnerable populations are identified via strategic mapping using population profiles, and it is argued that meeting accessibility needs within these communities maintains the social stability of the population, therefore improving the overall health of the neighbourhood. Wallace Heights within Halifax, Nova Scotia has been identified as a vulnerable neighbourhood based on its population profile, put at even greater risk of poor health outcomes due to its inaccessibility to essential services. The design aims to create social sustainability through multi-use programming based on changing population needs, ranging from health services to food access, that address the social determinants of health.