Building Healthy Places workshop: Urban Land Institute

I don’t understand the language of real estate developers, which puts me at a little unease in a room full of them. I learned that they don’t understand the language of doctors, either, which counterbalances that. And we all agree that health is incredibly valuable in every thing we do.

This is why being part of yesterday’s Building Healthy Places Initiative workshop, held at the Urban Land Institute (@UrbanLandInst) and Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) was a great learning experience.

The workshop was sponsored in large part by the Colorado Health Foundation (@COHealthFDN) who I have been hearing about more and more as a positive influence in health lately, and not just because it is now the third largest health-focused foundation in the United States ($2.2 billion in assets).

I had the pleasure of meeting one of my colleagues for the first time, Cliff Moser, AIA, LEED AP, Director, Facilities Planning & Design for Kaiser Permanente (@constart), and author of “Architecture 3.0: The Disruptive Design Practice Handbook” who, like many of my colleagues, functions at the connection of health, architecture, design, information technology, you-name-it, as part of the Kaiser Permanente non-profit health system. How cool is it to be a doctor or nurse in a health system with colleagues who help us think about health beyond our walls / electrons? Very.

As I listened to the ideas that came forth in the workshop yesterday, I could not help thinking that (a) developers have a huge influence on my/our ability to lead healthy lives (what do I know about where to place stairwells or integrate healthy food access into the built environment?) and (b) I am glad they are using their skills/craft in 2014 to help myself and my community be healthy, in an elimination of disparities kind of way. Lots of innovation happening here, and as I say at the Center for Total Health, innovation in health doesn’t just come from doctors.

You can learn more about the Building Healthy Places Initiative here.

Thanks Rachel MacLeery, Sara Hammerschmidt (@SeeSaraPlan) and the ULI team for bringing us together. Photos below, note the healthy meeting food policy continues to thrive at the Center for Total Health!


Ted Eytan, MD