Building Healthy Places Initiative

Building Healthy Places Initiative

Leveraging the power of ULI's global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities.

Around the world, communities face pressing health challenges related to the built environment. For many years, ULI and its members have been active players in discussions and projects that make the link between human health and development; we know that health is a core component of thriving communities.

The ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative is building on that work with a multifaceted program—including research and publications, convenings, and advisory activities—to leverage the power of the Institute’s global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities.

Through the Building Healthy Places Initiative, which launched in July 2013, ULI is working to promote health across the globe.



Recently Released

Building for Wellness: The Business Case highlights 13 projects of varying product type and scale that were developed with health and wellness in mind and explores the business case for incorporating health into development projects. In a series of profiles, developers share their motivation for incorporating a variety of health and wellness features, how these features factored into the overall development and operations process, and how the market has responded. This report was produced in conjunction with ULI’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate.



Intersections: Health and the Built Environment explores global health trends and makes the link between those trends and what has been happening to our built environment. It looks at the relationship between how healthy we are and the way our buildings and communities function. This report was released November 6 at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago.




Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places, which distills lessons learned from the three Advisory Services panels ULI conducted in the spring of 2013, as well as insights from a workshop attended by experts from a variety of fields, sets out ten important principles that can be used to create a new approach to building healthy communities.This report was released November 6 at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago. 



Unlock Real Estate Value with Healthy Projects and Places

The ULI conference Building Healthy Places: Unlocking the Value was held February 20-21, 2014 in Los Angeles. Click here to access session write-ups, photos, and speaker presentations from this event!



What We Are Doing


Through the Building Healthy Places Initiative, ULI will focus on four main areas of impact:

Raising Awareness. Raise awareness of the connections between health and the built environment in the real estate community, and work to make sure health is a mainstream consideration.

Defining the Approach. Help to define and share information about the design elements, programming strategies, materials, and other approaches that improve health for people.

Exploring the Value Proposition. Build understanding of the market and nonmarket factors at play in building healthy places, and the value proposition of building and operating in health-promoting ways.

Advancing the State of Practice and Policy. Using the ULI membership as a lever, and in partnership with others, advance the state of policy and practice. Incorporate considerations about transportation, connectivity, and access, and encourage shifts in built-environment shaping policies.

What's New From the Building Healthy Places Initiative

New Report from McGraw Hill and AIA Surveys Physicians, Industry Professionals, and Homeowners on Design-Health Link

McGraw Hill SmartMarket

ULI supported an effort by the American Institute of Architects and McGraw Hill Construction to take the pulse…

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ULI UK Hosts Building Healthy Places Webinar

The Zig Zag Building in London. Courtesy of Land Securities.

ULI UK, the largest ULI National Council in Europe, hosted a Building Healthy Places webinar last week. The…

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Health Beyond Health Care forum highlights creative efforts to build healthy communities


Last week the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) sponsored the Washington Post Live Forum Health Beyond Health Care,…

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News from the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative: June 13, 2014

Central staircase at George Washington University's Milken Institute of Public Health

News from the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative, June 2014.

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ULI Research Roundup: The Economic Value of Pedestrian Infrastructure and Amenities

Valencia Street in San Francisco has been made more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and has seen positive impacts (Peninsula Transportation Alternatives)

More and more communities are making investments in pedestrian infrastructure and amenities. What is the economic payback of…

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ULI Addresses National Association of Real Estate Editors about Health

L to R: Rachel MacCleery, ULI; Tim Bryant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (moderator); James Vick, SWA Group). Courtesy of Commercial Property Executive.

Rachel MacCleery, Senior Vice President at ULI, had the opportunity to speak at the National Association of Real…

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What Is a Healthy Place?

Healthy Places are designed, built, and programmed to support the physical, mental, and social well-being of the people who live, work, learn, and visit there.

  • Healthy Places offer healthy and affordable housing options, and a variety of safe, comfortable, and convenient transportation choices
  • Healthy Places provide access to healthy foods, the natural environment, and other amenities that allow people to reach their full potential.
  • Healthy Places are designed thoughtfully, with an eye to making the healthy choice the easy choice, and are built using health-promoting materials.
  • Healthy Places address unique community issues with innovative and sustainable solutions.

Learn about Healthy Places

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