Healthy living is top of mind with home buyers these days, and many will pay more for a home that promotes their comfort and well-being. Consider these statistics:
--Seventy-six percent of millennials think walkability is important in where they choose to live.
--More than half of Americans (51%) want to live in a community that has transit. Fifty-three percent want to be close to shops, restaurants, and offices.
--Homes located in neighborhoods with good walkability are worth $34,000 more on average than similar homes in neighborhoods with average walkability.
A new list of strategies offers developers and home builders ideas for meeting this demand. The Building Healthy Places Toolkit from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) outlines 21 recommendations to promote health at the building or project scale. These ideas can help developers, owners, property managers, designers, and investors integrate health-promoting practices into real estate development.
Projects that are able to meet the market demand for health will have enduring value, says ULI global CEO Patrick L. Phillips. “We know that the built environment has a profound impact on health outcomes,” Phillips says. “Increasingly, the ability of developers and communities to deliver on health is translating into market value for projects.”
The report’s 21 recommendations are organized into three categories: physical activity, healthy food and drinking water, and social interaction. (Click on video above for more details.) Here is a sampling of the suggestions:
Incorporate a mix of land uses to reduce the need to drive from place to place.
Provide sidewalks and enticing, pedestrian-oriented streetscapes.
Provide infrastructure to support biking.
Design visible, enticing stairs to encourage frequent use.
Provide high-quality spaces for multigenerational play and recreation.
Accommodate a grocery store.
Host a farmers market.
Support on-site gardening and farming.
Use materials and products that support healthy indoor air quality.
Facilitate proper ventilation and airflow.
Maximize indoor lighting quality.
Minimize noise pollution.
Adopt pet-friendly policies.