In Search of Healthy Communities: A Conceptual Framework for Engaging Developers

Jun 14, 2017

While connections between housing and health have long been recognized, empirical evidence is needed to inform decision-making within the real estate industry to encourage their active engagement in developing healthy communities.

This paper outlines the early stages of a research initiative exploring considerations for building a business case for private developer investment in projects engaging community health. The proposed framework suggests methods for integrating resources and expertise to create a holistic, mixed-methods business case to understand motivations, processes, and implementation mechanisms needed to develop practical strategies and create identifiable value based on health and well-being within multifamily developments.

Items to be addressed include: (1) how and why developers might address health; (2) criteria for decision-making processes; (3) favored health strategies within projects; (4) economic factors, including discussions with financial lenders; and (5) considerations between different project types and locations based on local infrastructure and relevant housing and health policies.

The resulting business cases would be able to inform municipal policies to encourage multifamily development projects that support creating a culture of health in communities, as well as incentivize or make the case to developers to incorporate health in their projects.

keywords: multifamily development; health; built environment; culture of health; real estate

Traci Rose Rider, PhD (North Carolina State University)
J. Aaron Hipp, PhD (North Carolina State University)
Margaret van Bakergem, MPH (North Carolina State University)
Presented at: 
ARCC 2017 Conference – Architecture of Complexity (Salt Lake City, UT)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC)
University of Utah

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