Food Hubs

LAs Take Las Vegas by Victoria DeWitt

After extensive research of food, food hubs, nutrition and Las Vegas itself- it was finally time to make the big trip. I had never been to Las Vegas before so I had no idea what to expect.. We could say that the Hangover movies may of had me a little concerned.. (KIDDING THIS WAS A SCHOOL TRIP). We arrived in the afternoon to the lovely state of Nevada and headed over to the El Cortez, located right on the infamous Fremont Street. Outside of the airport I could see the Las Vegas strip and mountains, it was beautiful. We had a charter take us to the hotel, traveling through large amounts of traffic we noticed all of the huge billboards advertising concerts, clubs, casinos, and hotels. We also got to see a few neighborhoods, which were quite scary. They were scary due to the lack of vegetation and care for the homes. There was a lot of concrete.

Once we arrived to the El Cortez, it was obvious that we were NOT in Iowa anymore. Inside of the Hotel and of course Casino, the air filled with smoke and far too much cologne. It was challenging to get a fresh breath of air within the casino after just a few minutes. It was then I started to look around and see what the guests of the hotel and casino looked to do for fun. Inside there was a bar, endless slot machines, game tables and a variety of people. There were the barely 21 year old adults like us, there were the real adults and then the elderly- who had seemed to have mastered the slot machines. There were absolutely no children, clearly the law permitted them but honestly, I started to really appreciate our clean air act. I noticed the lack of windows within the casino, manipulating the understanding of time. There were nights we would go to bed and wake up to the same exact people gambling. I'm not lucky enough to spend 12 hours gambling.

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.