Team 1 Day 1 Summary

The Nexus topic for the 2019 summit is Civility. Our goal is to promote civility through the use of a shared space in the city. Utilizing our backgrounds in public health, information systems, and architecture, we want to design a park in the city that is open to the public.

Our biggest challenge was coming up with a place where we could utilize all of our backgrounds to promote civility. Currently, there is a city block that our architecture team member has been working on designing a building for. This building will have many parts to it, but one of these parts involves the placement of a park. We are hoping to use the designs he has already imagined for his outside class assignment as our base for the model of the park.

The idea of placing a park with trees, flowers, and grass is actually relevant to public health. Studies have linked shared green space in city blocks to improved mental health for the residents (South Hohl, & Kondo, 2018). We decided that improving mental health of members of the community may contribute to establishing a civil-minded area. This furthered our park idea and incorporates the background of our public health teammate.

In addition, when creating a park, there are ample opportunities for our team member in Information Systems to help us get creative. Ideas we have include making it a “smart park” where solar panels and automatic lighting systems can be used, among other things.

We still have a lot to flesh out, but this is where we are beginning!

Source: South EC, Hohl BC, Kondo MC, MacDonald JM, Branas CC. Effect of Greening Vacant Land on Mental Health of Community-Dwelling Adults: A Cluster Randomized Trial. JAMA Netw Open. Published online July 20, 20181(3):e180298. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0298