Pennacchi, Alyssa (2023-11). Regenhub. Master's Thesis.
The separation we have crafted over the years between the natural and built environment has come with many costs to our environmental and public health. Today, the average human spends about 87% of their time indoors. This separation from the natural environment is connected to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, depression, ADHD and even a lack of creativity. This modern day issue our society faces is clearly exemplified in Houston where the development focused around industry created a car-centric, concrete jungle. It is easy to see why Houston, a city plagued with hot, humid weather, sprawling infrastructure, and little access to green space, creates an environment where health issues skyrocket. Until recent years it has been a place where residents avoided spending time outdoors. Furthermore, the city's sprawling infrastructure did not provide the resources for Houstonians to live an active lifestyle. Experiencing these issues growing up in Houston sparked my interest in exploring the way in which the built environment affects our health. Through this exploration, I aimed to create spaces that encourage a connection to the natural environment while providing comfort and safety from the harsh elements of Houston. With architecture as the vehicle, Regenhub eradicates the firm boundary between the natural and built environment improving the public and environmental health in this underserved neighborhood.