The Urban Land Institute has produced a new publication, Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment, which outlines development strategies that can improve health outcomes.
The toolkit was designed to help developers, owners, property managers, designers, and investors understand opportunities to integrate health promoting practices into real estate development.
“There’s a lot of advantages that urban places have,” said Rachel MacCleery, the ULI senior vice president who oversaw the preparation of the toolkit.
MacCleery pointed to “strong and improving pedestrian infrastructure” of urban areas such as New York as catalysts for properties that wield health-conscious features.
“Urban places are just as good a place to build healthy projects and healthy places as any others,” said MacCleery.
The ULI points to research that shows that the built environment can have a profound impact on health outcomes.
The Building Healthy Places Toolkit outlines 21 evidence-based recommendations that the development community can use to promote health at the building or project scale.
Some of the recommendations are quite obvious, such as banning smoking.
Other, more inventive recommendations include championing the construction of specific play and exercise areas for children and hosting farmer’s markets so that residents can have direct access to fresh produce.
“Definitely since I’ve been working on this initiative I’ve been more conscious of health issues,” added MacCleery