In New York City, an individual living in the South Bronx has a life expectancy of 69.5 years; a resident of the Upper East Side has a life expectancy of 89.5 years, 20 years longer. Where we live matters, and where we live is too often governed by exclusion, racism, and discrimination.
Public health officials and medical professionals have known that a person’s zip code is a better predictor of one’s health rather than genetics or lifestyle choices. Only 20% of health outcomes depend on access to and quality of medical care. 80% of health outcomes depend on our physical environment – the world and people around us shape our wellbeing. While access to hospitals is important, communities with access to parks, transportation, well-resourced schools, adequate housing are more likely to be healthy.
This is a call to action for urban planning, design, and public policy professionals and all those involved in shaping the physical environments in which we live, work and play. This cycle, the Design Trust searched for projects that will shape New York shared spaces and environment in ways that can make us healthier.
ANNOUNCING THE RESTORATIVE CITY WINNERS
- The Neurodiverse City, a collaboration between Verona Carpenter Architects and WIP Collaborative with the support of Center for Independence of the Disabled-NY, Bronx Independent Living Services, INCLUDEnyc, and P.S. 42. The initiative advocates for public spaces in our city that offer inclusive zones where all of us, including those with “invisible disabilities” and sensory sensitives, can come together and find common ground.
- Healing Hostile Architecture: Design as Care, led by Design as Protest, a collective of BIPOC designers and advocates. The initiative supports the development of community-driven design policies and new regenerative, design models to replace hostile environments and provide care for unhoused populations.
- An Honorable mention was given to Forest Avenue COMEUnity Fridge Fellowship Program, which creates opportunities for local youth to support a mutual aid network targeting food insecurity through the transformation of an underutilized space in Staten Island. Learn more about our other finalists here.