One of the main tenets of urban design, an interdisciplinary field dedicated to improving the appearance and the functionality of public spaces—from overall layout to the interaction between people and the structures around them, is the creation of outdoor space. Time spent outdoors helps to reduce stress and improve overall health, and having outdoor features for people to enjoy increases the amount of people who spend time outside. In cities, small, locally owned shops and restaurants serve as the main attractions to lure people outside.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to create these attractions at UTD and to take advantage of our extensive beautification is to invite food trucks to sell meals on campus. Food trucks can provide a vast array of culinary delights and can easily change what they provide based on what the customers want, such as healthier, ethnic or dessert options. Having more reasons to go outside will help to improve our campus without having to spend millions more than the university has already spent and will create a sense of community. Food trucks are common and popular in cities such as Austin, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, and should be brought to UTD as well.
Students, faculty and staff can only benefit by having semi-permanent food options available.