Recent Submissions

  • Integrating Biophilic Principles and Therapeutic Design Elements in Outdoor Spaces for Children at Tucson Medical Center

    Davidson, Deryn (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    As concern for the health and wellbeing of children grows in a society geared toward a more sedentary lifestyle, many doctors and therapists are pointing to the importance of access to, and time spent interacting with the natural world. The idea of using the restorative properties of nature in healing has been around since ancient times. There is currently a renaissance in the health care industry looking at the importance of incorporating gardens into the design of health care facilities once again. This project proposes to explore the importance for children in health care facilities to have access to the natural world while using the biophilia hypothesis as a framework for design. Furthermore, the benefits of outdoor areas for the families (particularly siblings) of child patients and the staff of the health care facilities was explored. Through the use of literature and case reviews, data was collected and synthesized to determine the elements best used to strengthen the designs for children’s therapeutic environments. Outcomes include three models of therapeutic environments including focus areas for the Tucson Medical Center campus in Tucson, Arizona.
  • New Life Behind Bars - A Prison Retrofit From Prison to Community Resource

    Machado, Micaela (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    Sustainability practices in design development are a common goal in urban settings, especially in an environment such as the arid Southwest U.S. where resources are limited. Here, sunshine and heat are abundant where water resources are low. So, how can we use these circumstances and constraints to our advantage in future designs or in potential retrofits? Institutional establishments with long-term residents, such as prisons, which use a significant amount of resources can reduce their energy, food and water costs by using sustainable practices. These practices can help reduce the costs of prisoner housing and eventually lower costs to tax payers. This project focuses on a hypothetical retrofit of the Wilmot Department of Corrections (Wilmot D.O.C.) prison facility in Tucson, AZ.
  • Natural Heart: Yangchun Lake Suburban Center Master Plan

    Wang, Yuxin (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    Urbanization in China is rapidly improving with the economic growth. But the development that ignores environment has caused lots of environmental problems in Chinese cities, especially the large ones. As the capital of Hubei Province, Wuhan is the fifth among China cities for its size and its economic production. Because of extreme urbanization and high dense population in Wuhan city, some significant issues have been constantly emerged: lack of adequate wastewater management and water resources protection, urgent need for efficient solution to sludge treatment and disposal, serious urban flooding because of the natural flow or urban lakes and streams restriction, degradation of water quality, and so on. These issues have been seriously impacted the quality life in the city. Along with the urbanization, the conflicts between urban development and ecosystem are inescapable. How can urban development balance environmental sensitivity to support ecological health in the vulnerable urban ecosystem and mitigate the problems in the city? This project tries to redesign a master plan for Yangchun Lake sub-urban center in Wuhan city and find suitable ways to mitigate these problems with attention to the environmental, functional, economic, social and aesthetics aspects of the proposed solutions. The design will balance the urban development and environmental protection, support and enhance the development of a new ecological urban center.
  • Revitalization of Alleys - creating safe, social and green networks in central Tucson

    Zhao, Kexin (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    Alleys are underutilized corridors that can potentially provide many valuable uses in cities. Alleys can be used for multiple purposes during the day and night: conventional functions, dog walking, water harvesting, art display and as renewable energy showcases, to name a few. In addition, they can become welcoming and popular linear gathering spaces. On a grander scale, they can be used as networks and connections between destinations. This project proposes to evaluate the current challenges and opportunities of alleys in central Tucson, to create multiple design templates for safe, social, and green alleys, and to enhance the connectivity to Tucson Modern Streetcar Areas.
  • Theory and Design Considerations of a Saline Ecological Landscape: A constructive method to reduce brine waste volume

    Bresdin, Cylphine (The University of Arizona., 2013)
    Pertinent abiotic and biotic factors and their interdependencies necessary to comprehend the ecology of saline systems are investigated and evaluated. A designed saline ecosystem is proposed as a constructive method to reduce waste volume. Landscape pattern is investigated as the vehicle for an evapotranspiration induced directional saline gradient. A demonstration site is used to explore conceptual design application of the idea of ecosystem pattern consisting of a linear sequence of ecotopes, each displaying its own ecological community in relation to salinity range and site context. Biota is relinquished to self-organization. Potential for research use of the ecosystem is illustrated.