Building Healthy Places Initiative

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.

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

Building Healthy Places Initiative




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 will build on that work with a multifaceted program—including research and publications, convening’s, 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 two-year Building Healthy Places Initiative, which launched in July 2013, ULI is working to promote health across the globe.

Impact on the Local Level:

ULI Colorado’s Building Healthy Places Initiative is managed by our Building Healthy Places committee.  You may visit their committee page here to learn more about the committee structure and meeting times.

– Our local initiative is comprised of four primary pieces to create maximum impact:

1. Research and Publications: Please view the side bar to the right to download all recent information created by our local committee.  This information is available for public use to help demonstrate and inform on building healthier places in the state of Colorado.

2. Building Healthy Places Workshops specific to creating healthy places: ULI Colorado’s Building Healthy Places Workshops provide technical assistance to the communities by engaging a group of volunteer experts to work with local community members and leaders in identifying opportunities to increase physical activity through the built environment. In a one-day exercise, these workshops will study the selected communities and provide observations, findings, recommendations, and practical first and next steps designed to improve the built environment with regard to community health and wellness.

3. ULI in Leadership Roles within our local community to promote this mission.  While ULI is not the only organization working to promote health, our members strive to be involved with others who are.  In this way we remain informed and connected. If you know of an opportunity surrounding this topic in which ULI should be involved, please contact the Building Healthy Places Committee Chairs.

4. Events to provide education on how building healthy places is profitable, economical, and important. ULI hosts a series of events each month.  To browse and register for upcoming events please visit our event page here.

For previous meeting reports, presentations, and other articles of interest, visit our Building Healthy Places Local Resource Center.



News from ULI Colorado

ULI Colorado and Colorado Health Foundation encourage development of healthy communities through two community workshops
With a Colorado Health Foundation grant of $30,000 to the Colorado District Council of ULI (ULI Colorado), ULI Colorado will host two Building Healthy Places (BHP) workshops in Loveland, Colorado and Pueblo, Colorado.

ULI Colorado hosted a selective application process to identify the two final communities. The workshops will bring together 8-to-10 ULI volunteer experts with community leaders to envision new designs, developments and infrastructure that will benefit community health.

“The Colorado Health Foundation and ULI Colorado are uniquely paired to address these issues,” says Michael Leccese, Executive Director, ULI Colorado. “With the breadth of knowledge our panel will possess, the workshops will provide real solutions for these communities to implement.”

A body of research links the design and planning of communities to public health. Both communities noted specific areas to be addressed during the workshops, and where residents of communities lack opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy food, there is less activity and poorer diets.

“Though personal choices are a contributing factor to health, it’s difficult to be healthy when communities lack infrastructure and facilities like sidewalks, bike lanes and easy connections to transit and parks that encourage physical activity,” noted Khanh Nguyen, portfolio director – Healthy Living, Colorado Health Foundation. “The BHP workshops provide a wealth of expertise and work directly with the communities to identify and design health back into their neighborhoods.”