Christopher D’Amico


Unpaving Paradise: Envisioning a Healthy Hialeah

Advised by Paola Sturla

Hialeah is a city of “unhealthy” urban character in terms of green coverage, economic opportunity, and medical care; however, its strong sense of community and interpersonal “weak ties” could help overcome these characteristics with reinvigorated participation for a reformulation of the city. Imageability as a method of participation invites the minds of community members acting as designers to formulate a strategy for the health of their own city, ascertaining, “What does a healthy Hialeah look like?” This relationship between individuals in the act of imageability is not merely a connection, or even many connections, rather it is defined by an exponential, almost intangible network of relations and actions known to us as complexity. The fruits of this discussion on imageability and health are integrated and designed into a framework for Hialeah that challenges its health infrastructure by redesigning a connective network centered on a synthetic urban orchard.

Illustration of a commercial block and public space viewed from the street with people engaged in activities such as sitting waiting, exercising, eating, talking, passing through, etc. A brick sidewalk with bus shelter, a strip of plantings with orange trees fronts a plaza tiled with turf block pavers. Two storefronts, Cafecito and Julio’s Food Market are in the background..

Colorful illustration of street intersecting an open-air market, with people walking and bicycling. Above is a layout of the transportation lanes in section, including lanes for walking, trees, bicycles, and cars.

Colorful illustration of a park surrounded by commercial shops in the rain, with people walking with umbrellas. Above this is a layout of the landscape in section, showing lanes for walking, bicycles, and cars, as well as sections of park with greenery.

Colorful illustration showing different heights of trees with foliage and temperature statistics, as well as the supply cycle of trees from nursery through harvesting/recycling.

Illustrated diagram of a section of city blocks, showing different types of facilites in their locations and transportation patterns.

Colorful birds-eye illustration of a low-rise cityscape with a large central road bisecting many buildings and a large amount of greenery.