Health by Design: Findings from ULI
Healthy places are never finished,” begins the report by ULI Northwest and ULI San Francisco. "They are continuous efforts and joint enterprises. They require smart development strategies, backed by good policies and adequate public and private investment."
By studying how the built environment affects health in San Francisco and Seattle, the group distilled their research into five major themes important for designing healthy spaces:
- Open spaces to eat healthy food
- Partnership with health care organizations
- Health-motivated innovation in the home and workplace
- Place-making as the key to a holistic approach
The report cites San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood as "an example of place-making and open spaces bringing communities together," writes ULI blogger wilheywood. The neighborhood formed the first-ever Green Benefit District (GBD), a neighborhood-controlled property tax assessment for which revenues will be used to "clean, maintain, enhance, and expand open spaces, parks, plazas, parklets, gardens, sidewalk greenings and the Public Realm in general," according to the GBD website.
In Seattle, the two-tower, mixed-used Via6 high-rise apartment, which was "designed to serve the burgeoning urban population of millenials [sic]," is another prime example of healthy place-making. It features first-floor retail and restaurants, an open mezzanine, indoor bike racks, and a bike repair service. The site has a walkability score of 100 (out of 100).