On Monday, the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America released three broad recommendations aimed at improving the health of all Americans. Building upon the progress from their 2008 recommendations, the Commission—comprised of leaders from the private and public sectors—came together to identify complex issues that are underlying significant differences in the health of Americans. The Commission’s three recommendations to improve the health of all Americans are:
- Invest in the foundations of lifelong physical and mental well-being in our youngest children
- Create communities that foster health-promoting behaviors
- Broaden health care to promote health outside of the medical system
Recommendation 2 is directly aligned with the mission of ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, which focuses on leveraging the power of the development community to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities. The recommendation relies on partnerships, incentives, performance measures, and innovation in order to fundamentally change the way that communities are revitalized and to integrate health considerations into the development of communities.
As part of the release, RWJF convened panels to discuss each recommendation. The panel discussing Recommendation 2 included Anne Warhover, President and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation, a member of the Building Healthy Places Initiative advisory group, and co-chair of ULI’s Building Healthy Places conference.
During this panel, Anne mentioned the Mariposa housing project in Denver, profiled in ULI’s new report Intersections: Health and the Built Environment, as a model example of a healthy, mixed-income development. She also discussed the power of local leaders putting health on their agendas, listening to what the community wants when it comes to creating healthy places, and the involvement of the private sector in building the types of healthy communities that residents are beginning to demand. These are all critical components of creating a new movement around building places that encourage healthy living.
View the full report from the RWJF Commission here.
Watch video of the release event here.
Don’t miss hearing from Anne Warhover and other leaders in the field at the Building Healthy Places Conference, February 20-21 in Los Angeles. Register for the conference today!