"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

Cultivating Development

This report explores the mutually beneficial relationship between food-based amenities—such as working farms, community gardens, food halls, restaurants, and grocery stores—and real estate.

Building Healthy Corridors

This report explores strategies for transforming commercial corridors—found in nearly every community across the United States—into places that support the health of the people who live, work, and travel along them.

Active Transportation

This report explores the interconnections among walking, bicycling, and real estate development. It showcases the growing synergies between real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments.


America in 2015

This report, the second edition of ULI’s community survey, gauges Americans’ opinions and realities regarding housing, transportation, and community. Produced in conjunction with ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing, it uncovers important community design–related barriers to living a healthy life.

Building Healthy Places Toolkit

This report 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

This report 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

This report, 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

This report 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.


This report 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.


Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places

This report, 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.

Advisory Services Panels in Colorado

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.


Healthy Places Videos

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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