NYS Health Foundation Offers Insights on Health Designs for Housing

Monday, January 30, 2017

NYS Health Foundation Offers Insights on Health Designs for Housing

A substantial body of evidence links the design of the built environment with physical, social, and mental health outcomes. Research also shows that low-income neighborhoods are not designed and maintained to promote residents' health. Active Design is an evidence-based approach that offers practical urban planning and architecture design solutions to support healthy communities, including stairs, supportive walking and biking infrastructure, and on-site exercise facilities. To help integrate cost-effective Active Design strategies into affordable housing, the Active Design Verified (ADV) initiative was created to train developers on incorporating design elements and amenities that will improve the health of residents.

A new NYSHealth-funded policy brief by Center for Active Design highlights opportunities for using Active Design strategies on affordable housing design. The policy brief reviews findings from a pilot study in the Bronx that suggests Active Design elements have improved residents' health and physical activity. It also evaluates the impact of Active Design on a newly constructed development in Brownsville, Brooklyn (an NYSHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund site), that is the first multifamily affordable housing site to achieve ADV recognition. Policy recommendations for adopting Active Design and other healthy affordable housing initiatives are included...

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