Map The Gap
Iteratively Bridging Theory and Practice to Address Housing Insecurity in the Urban Environment
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, health and well-being depend more on where we live, learn, work and play than on medical care, which accounts for only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of preventable early deaths (Brawer, R. et al., 2016). Housing insecurity, marked by uninhabitable living conditions, uncertainty regarding capacity to pay rent, and multiple relocations, threatens the physiological and mental health of individuals and overburdens infrastructure (Sandel et al., 201S). Our current research reveals that housing insecurity is exacerbated via disconnects between legal affordances, community-based organization (CBO) responsibility misconception, and a lack of resources. This paper will examine the research and development philosophies and processes which substantiate Map the Gap, a transdisciplinary, in-development mobile-Health intervention/prevention tool intended to reduce the burden of housing insecurity in Philadelphia. The tool takes its name from several efforts currently underway to consider the gap in income required for families to avoid eviction. This research group has developed an emerging framework to approach the community work required to cultivate efficient, effective relationships between Philadelphia residents and the built environment. It is anticipated that Map the Gap will play a critical role in health care and wellness promotion. In addition to enabling Philadelphia residents to access resources which improve the built environment, the human-centered accessible architecture of the Map the Gap system itself will lay the foundation for a Culture of Health, transforming determinants of health into constituents of health, and thus creating new imperatives for design of sociotechnical structures which transcend relational and environmental spaces.