Colorado Health Foundation Grant Supports Building Healthy Places Initiative

ULI has been awarded a $170,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to continue its support for the Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, which seeks to engage ULI’s global networks to shape projects and places that improve the health of people and communities worldwide.

The Colorado Health Foundation grant to ULI will support three critical efforts within the Building Healthy Places Initiative. They include:

  • The Healthy Corridors project, which seeks to leverage the land use and urban development expertise of ULI’s 34,000-plus members to provide guidance on transforming isolated, auto-dependent commercial arterial roads and soulless commercial strips centers into vibrant, safe, and healthy corridors. The project will focus on several U.S. communities including Denver and will develop a typology of a holistically healthy corridor which can serve as a nationwide model.
  • The America in 2015 survey, a national survey of U.S. adults to gauge views and expectations about community, housing, and transportation, with an enhanced focus on health and safety, social equity and affordability, and other core issues to ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative. ULI will develop an oversample survey in Colorado to compare preferences and actions of Coloradoans to the national sample.
  • A series of forums focused on the intersection of food, health, and real estate; these forums will convene ULI members, the public health community, and other stakeholders to explore how healthy food providers, including grocery stores and farmers markets, can serve as drivers of economic development, revitalization, and place-making. The forums will also examine issues related to ensuring access to healthy foods for low-income communities. The Colorado Health Foundation will be an equal partner in co-chairing and developing content for these forums.

“Our renewed partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation will allow ULI to significantly expand the reach of the Building Healthy Places Initiative, which seeks to promote physical activity, access to fresh food, and other healthy lifestyle choices through innovative urban design and development,” said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “This generous support from the Foundation will enhance our ability to raise awareness of the many economic, environmental and social benefits that result from building for wellness.”

“Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. Yet one-fifth of all Americans live in environments that compromise their health. This partnership had been instrumental in laying the foundation to design and build neighborhoods, communities and cities that foster and promote healthy lifestyles,” notes Khanh Nguyen, portfolio director – Healthy Living, Colorado Health Foundation. “Though personal choices contribute to overall health, it’s difficult to make healthy choice when people live in communities that lack the infrastructure to support healthy lifestyles. We hope that our work with ULI will serve as a catalyst to design for health and wellness.”

This grant represents another stage in an ongoing partnership between ULI and the Colorado Health Foundation. In 2013, the Foundation engaged ULI’s Advisory Services Program to provide land use thought leadership to three Colorado communities—Arvada, Lamar, and Westwood—on how to improve health outcomes and promote active, healthy lifestyle choices through programming and upgrades to the built environment. The Foundation has been a premier sponsor of the Building Healthy Places Initiative, providing support for the Building Healthy Places Toolkit and other projects. The Foundation has also awarded ULI Colorado, a member of ULI’s District Council network, a $32,500 grant to host Building Healthy Places workshops in Loveland and Pueblo.