The heart of the historic preservation movement for me is not just the beauty I find in architecture or my love of old things – It is the idea that by preserving the structures that connect us to the culture and history of a place, we create a foundation for a healthy urban environment.
I am intrigued by a series of short videos created for the National Building Museum’s new initiative, Intelligent Cities, giving different perspectives about how to best build healthy cities. One point-of-view from Howard Frumkin, the dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health is here:
When we think about studying frogs or butterflies we’d never dream of studying them without studying their habitat. You can’t understand the health of a frog population without understanding its habitat. But its remarkable how often when we think about human well being – human health – we don’t think about the habitat. If we focus on the built environment – on the neighborhoods and communities and metropolitan areas that are peoples’ native habitats we can understand very well how much habitat design, urban design, community design influence how healthy and safe and thriving people are.