"A focus on healthy places is a logical extension of ULI’s long history of supporting the creation of thriving, successful communities."

ULI Chairman Lynn Thurber

For many years, ULI and its members have been active players in discussions and projects that make the link between health and wellness, and real estate and development. More recently, research and reports have been released by ULI that explicitly feature connections between the design of our built environments and health.

Explore the resources below to see what we have learned through the years and what we are continuing to learn about these connections.



Resources on Health and the Built Environment

Reports by ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative


Building Healthy Places Toolkit cover

ULI’s Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment outlines 21 evidence-supported recommendations for enhancing health outcomes in real estate developments across three categories: physical activity, healthy food and drinking water, and healthy environments and social well-being. The Center for Active Design served as a contributing author and expert content partner.



Retail-in-Underserved-Communities_coverRetail in Underserved Communities—co-authored by ULI Senior Resident Fellow Maureen McAvey and Bridget Lane, director of Business Districts Inc. in Evanston, Illinois—explores factors that hamper retail development in some lower-income communities and offers solutions to overcome the dearth of shopping options for neighborhood residents.




Housing in America 2014_COVERHousing in America: Integrating Housing, Health, and Resilience in a Changing Environment, the latest report in the Housing in America series, examines the role of housing in creating healthy and resilient communities in the face of climate change. Through profiles of three cities dealing with threats of extreme weather, this report presents a set of key takeaways to promote the development of healthy and resilient housing and communities. This report was produced in conjunction with ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing.




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.




Three reports from Advisory Services panels in Colorado focused specifically on connections between land use and health, and served as a launching point for the Building Healthy Places Initiative. The panels took place in March, April, and May 2013 in Arvada, Lamar, and Westwood, Colorado.




Featured Resources From ULI

About the Building Healthy Places Initiative

The Building Healthy Places Initiative leverages the power of ULI's global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities. Learn more.

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