The Urban Land Institute Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $2 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of efforts to advance healthy community development and real estate practices.
With the funding, the ULI Foundation — which provides support for the Urban Land Institute's mission-focused efforts to create thriving, sustainable communities — will work to raise awareness of real estate development practices that promote health, wellness, and social equity and foster partnerships between the institute and seven professional membership organizations working to advance the goals of the Joint Call to Action for Healthier Communities.
To that end, a grant of $2 million will fund an assessment of the current status of health and social equity in real estate practice; activities aimed at driving more investment in healthy, equitable real estate development and retrofit projects; a program to utilize the institute's network of local chapters to shape land use and transportation policies and practices; and activities that leverage the support of ULI's member networks, with a focus on health, social equity, community engagement, and diversity. The work will be led by the institute's Building Healthy Places initiative, which was launched in 2013 and is part of ULI's Center for Sustainability and Economic.
Despite a growing understanding of the connections between the built environment and health outcomes, many buildings and communities are still built in ways that do not provide opportunities for all people to live a healthy life. Many communities also continue to struggle with the legacy and impact of land use and transportation decisions that have made it difficult for residents to access affordable housing, healthy food, social services, physical activity, and other ingredients of a healthy life.
"ULI members have been at the forefront of developing healthy communities where people of all income levels and backgrounds can thrive," said ULI chief executive officer W. Edward Walter. "With this generous grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Urban Land Institute will continue to be the leader in promoting positive change throughout the real estate industry and in communities."