Strategies to improve health outcomes in developments, such as providing protected bikeways, minimising noise pollution, and offering amenities such as community gardens, are highlighted in a new publication from the Urban Land Institute, the Building Healthy Places Toolkit.
The Toolkit outlines 21 practical, evidence-based recommendations that the development community can use to promote health at the building or project scale.
On physical activity:
- Incorporate a mix land uses (to reduce the need to drive from place to place)
- Design well-connected street networks at the human scale
- Provide sidewalks and enticing, pedestrian-oriented streetscapes
- Provide infrastructure to support biking
- Design visible, enticing stairs to encourage frequent use
- Install stair prompts and signage
- Provide high-quality spaces for multigenerational play and recreation
- Build play spaces for children
On healthy food and drinking water:
- Accommodate a grocery store
- Host a farmers market
- Promote healthy food retail
- Support on-site gardening and farming
On healthy environment and social well-being:
- Minimise noise pollution
- Increase access to nature
- Facilitate social engagement
- Adopt pet-friendly policies
The report illustrates the application of the recommendations to seven real estate typologies – master-planned communities, multifamily, mixed-use, office, industrial, single-family, and retail.
The Building Healthy Places Toolkit is part of ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative, an ongoing program of work to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities.