In the wake of the pandemic, spending time outside is playing a more critical role than ever in sustaining people's mental and physical health. Studies have shown that immersion in nature has a profound impact on human health, such as boosting overall health, reducing stress, promoting active lifestyles, improved mental health and cognitive function, and creating a stronger community.
Texas Trees Foundation has embarked on a project to rethink how we design for people. The foundation is leveraging the restorative and health benefits of the environment to improve human wellness and create a sense of place by greening the streetscape along the main road and creating a 10-acre park to replace the cloverleaf interchange. By using an evidence-based process, each design decision is measured against health and environmental improvement targets.
The goal of the project is to foster a livable district that carefully considers the health of the natural environment, the health of thriving neighborhood systems and the health of the district where minds, bodies and spirits can heal.
Lannie McClelen is the project coordinator for the Southwestern Medical Streetscape project with Texas Trees Foundation (TTF), a private nonprofit focused on urban forestry, green infrastructure and sustainable design. Lannie provides oversight and coordination of the initiative, ensuring that goals and objectives are met and ongoing advocacy and outreach efforts with partners and stakeholders are inclusive. Lannie is a registered landscape architect. Prior to joining TTF, Lannie served as a landscape designer at the city of Fort Worth and with SWA Group. She was also the senior project manager at Out Teach. She has taught landscape construction classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. She studied at Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Arlington, receiving undergraduate and master's degrees in landscape architecture.
Emily Fitzgerald is the Southwestern Medical District engagement coordinator at the Texas Trees Foundation (TTF) and supports the project by organizing the stakeholder outreach and community engagement efforts, while also assisting with day-to-day project coordination. Emily graduated from Wake Forest University in 2017 with a finance degree. She started her career in urban development as an analyst at HR&A Advisors, an economic development and real estate advisory consulting firm, supporting the firm's Southwest portfolio. In addition to her work at TTF, she is pursuing her master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington, graduating in May 2021. She is an active member of APA Texas and currently serves as the student representative on the APA Texas North Central Section Board.