How to Build Health into Design – a day with Green Health Partnership

2016.06.21 Heath and Design with Green Health Partnership 00649
2016.06.21 Heath and Design with Green Health Partnership 00649 (View on

Yesterday a bunch of friends (at this point) got together to explore solutions to bring health into the design of the built environment. You know, where we spend 90% of our lives.

As I said to a group recently, there may only be a single digit percent uptake of a fitness device, there’s 100% uptake of the street you’re walking on or the building you’re inside of.

The part about us being a bunch of friends – architects, public health experts, doctors, planners is both a good thing and a thing worth noting. Good thing is we all see a sustainable and health promoting future in the way our society is constructed. Thing worth noting is there is more to be done and more people needed to support it to make this the norm. Hence the workshop.

I continue to learn tons about the way our environment is built and all of the opportunities that exist to integrate health the way energy efficiency has been integrated successfully over the last 20 years. Doctors still love designers – they help us perform better for society. I hope many physicians and nurses get to work with designers in their lifetimes or while they’re training. Imagine all the health that will happen then.

Speaking of health, I mentioned a few projects of Kaiser Permanente’s that inspired me recently that I’ll link to from here:

Infused with the sights and sounds of the beach: the new Kaiser Permanente Santa Monica Medical Office


Photo Friday: Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley, Lancaster, CA USA

Both of these projects, and the people within them (yes, including the people) are a glimpse into the future of all of the built environments we’re going to get to enjoy in our lifetimes. They’re congruent with the environment around them, open and inviting to the communities they exist in, and compassionate and sensitive to the people within them and the jobs they need to do. In this case, the jobs are to produce and promote health. Eventually every building will do some of that, even ones that aren’t in health care 🙂 .

More photos from the day, enjoy, and thank you to US Green Building Council (@USGBC), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (@RWJF) and University of Virginia School of Medicine (@MedicineUVA). Thanks especially to our organizers Mira Panek (@miraisabel), Matt Trowbridge, MD (@MTrowbr), Kelly Worden, MPH (@K_worden). You can read more about this work at Green Health Partnership.

Ted Eytan, MD