The Start to Year Four / by Victoria DeWitt

The COD is no longer our home. We now convene in the new and improved communications building. The commute is a little longer but who am I kidding, the overall space is definitely doable.

This semester in studio our class has been split into two sections. One group is focusing on City Beautiful in Pennsylvania and the others, myself included, are studying Food Hubs to rebuild Las Vegas. Our studio is being lead through extensive research and urban determinism of a healthy environment. As a class we created a list of topics we most definitely needed to get more information on. The list included Las Vegas itself, food programs, needs of people, energy, food hubs (obviously), successful food hub precedents, health in food, and indoor agriculture.

I chose to look at the needs of the people. I started with the question of: What do people need to be happy? A few million dollars was not the answer, neither was a pack of puppies. I found the key to a happy life is a healthy environment. The USDA, EPA and CDC all have their own requirements of a healthy environment but all share the common theme of bettering peoples health and rights to know information while caring for, and bettering the environment. While researching I found two other faces of a healthy environment: Richard Jackson and Dan Buettner. Richard Jackson specifies his research on actually designing a healthy environment. Dan Buettner looks at Blue Zones, places on the earth where people live longer and healthier lives, researching how they live. I found Buettner's research of blue zones to be the most interesting due to the simplicity of life he found after discovering the Power 9.

New studio. New outlook on my environment. Pretty good start.