Confronting COVID-19: The Rising Imperative of Integrating Health and Social Equity into Development

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December 02, 2020

Confronting COVID-19: The Rising Imperative of Integrating Health and Social Equity into Development

The COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice have spurred the real estate community to more fully factor health and social equity into all aspects of urban planning, design, and development, according to participants in a webinar hosted in mid-November by ULI. The event focused on two new ULI publications, Health and Social Equity in Real Estate: State of the Market, from the ULI Building Healthy Places Initiative, and Health and Social Equity in Real Estate: Examples from the Field, from ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance.

The State of the Market report presents a snapshot of the growing awareness and adoption of practices supporting health and social equity on the part of real estate professionals, and identifies opportunities for further inclusion of such practices by real estate organizations. The report presents the first comprehensive and cross-cutting data on the real estate industry’s adoption of health and social equity–promoting practices, based on 2019 research conducted by the Building Healthy Places Initiative with support from HR&A Advisors and the Integral Group.

The Examples from the Field report looks at developments that have incorporated health and social equity principles into their designs and their policies, and identifies elements of the business case for doing so, based on interviews with 44 real estate stakeholders. Research for the report was conducted in 2019 and 2020 by the Greenprint Center.

A recording of the webinar, “On the Rise: Social Equity and Health in Real Estate,” is available on ULI’s Knowledge Finder, as are both publications.

Leading ULI member Eleni Reed, head of sustainability, Americas, at Lendlease, was moderator of the webinar, which featured Judith Taylor, partner with HR&A Advisors; Marta Schantz, senior vice president, ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance; Joe Ritchie, vice president of development, Brandywine Realty Trust; Kelly Hagarty, director of sustainability, Clarion Partners; and Mine Hashas-Degertekin, associate professor, Department of Architecture, Kennesaw State University.