USING LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE TO PROMOTE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
(Photo: Thom Hubacek, H2M’s Practice Leader/Manager of Landscape Architecture)
Melville, NY (April 17, 2017) - A misconception is that landscape designers are gardeners. Perhaps we are at home, but when we design for clients we turn land, like urban blight, whether it be an inner-city lot that has been abandoned due to contamination or an empty lot needing a careful touch into designs of places that optimize mental and physical restoration. H2M’s Thom Hubacek works to create more healthy and joyful communities.
Landscape architects create and design environments that encourage daily exercise, provide clean air, water, and even supply nutritious food. This helps combat the growing epidemics of depression, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Landscape architects like Thom help our communities by maximizing opportunities for daily exercises like walking and biking by designing parks, playgrounds, and other fun places for our communities to enjoy. He also designs “complete streets” that incorporate pedestrians, mass transit, and cyclists to help develop dense live, work, and play environments that promote water and energy efficiency.
Thom and his team contribute to urban agriculture projects that provide healthy, affordable, and nutritious food that is locally produced and distributed. These project initiatives make productive use of vacant lots and neglected spaces by transforming them into safe environments for youth education and community interaction. Thom creates/designs places that optimize mental and physical restoration, bringing the living environment to you, creating parks, green roofs, and vibrant streetscapes inspiring physical activity by the community because the spaces are more accessible, attractive, and sustainable. An individual who is exposed to nature, sees reduction in stress and improvements in mood. The spaces Thom designs absorb storm water runoff, ultimately saving communities millions of dollars through various designs which provide ecosystems, green roof’s that reduce heating/cooling costs, and complete street programs, where Thom uses recyclable materials to create walkable multi-transit landscapes resulting in healthier and happier lifestyles for our communities.
Thom left the United States for an opportunity to gain a different type of work experience than what he was previously used to. Thom took a job as a Senior Landscape Architect in Kuwait, providing him with a unique experience to acquire new skills to further his expertise in Landscape Architecture. When he returned to the United States he saw an opportunity to start a new department/group at H2M and seized it. Thom’s favorite part about working at H2M is having the ability to bring a new perspective and finding new solutions to challenges.
“I learned a lot form working outside of the country; working with international firms, a project built on a foreign land, learning a new population of plants, soils, and conditions, a separation of activities, and cultural nuances, etc. It was an opportunity to grow, and move forward in my career, while learning new ways to enhance my skills. I have used a lot of the knowledge I have gained with my experience in Kuwait at H2M.” said, Thom.
Outside of the H2M walls Thom likes to exercise by biking or walking. He enjoys walking around New York City and taking pictures of buildings because he admires the architecture of the city. Thom enjoys traveling and during his time in Kuwait he traveled the world visiting places like Africa, Egypt, Thailand, and Turkey to name a few. Thom also enjoys rebuilding his house and takes on several renovation projects.
Thom is passionate about landscape architecture, and is determined to help communities live happier and healthier. Thom Hubacek is Practice Leader/Manager of Landscape Architecture at H2M architects + engineers. Thom is looking to grow the Landscape Architecture Department at H2M, and is using his unique previous work experiences to offer new solutions to project challenges while promoting sustainable land-use practices.