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A Conversation About Design and Health

May 25, 2017

On May 25, 2017, NYSHealth held a panel discussion with experts working to create healthier buildings, streets, and urban spaces, including a panelist from the Center for Active Design (CfAD), one of our 10th Anniversary Emerging Innovator awardees and an organization that we believe is poised to make radical improvements to the state of New York's health over the next 10 years.

The buildings in which we live, work, and play can help or harm our health in major ways. Residents in many communities across New York City suffer from chronic health problems because they live in neighborhoods that lack access to safe opportunities for physical activity or in poorly constructed and maintained homes. However, design changes to the built environment have the potential to transform physical, mental, and social health outcomes. CfAD and Enterprise Community Partners are at the forefront of building the case for and implementing health-focused design interventions.

Panelists were:
Nupur Chaudhury, M.U.P., M.P.H., (Moderator), Program Officer, NYSHealth
Lisa Creighton, Director of Partnerships, CfAD
Elizabeth Zeldin, Senior Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners

Ms. Creighton talked about how CfAD is building the case for developers and designers to think about health in new housing developments. CfAD also provides technical assistance for developers who are looking to integrate Active Design Verified, a verification program that establishes benchmarks for healthy affordable housing development. She highlighted two examples: the Prospect Plaza housing development in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and Arbor House in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Ms. Creighton described key design interventions that were integrated into the developments and have been proven to improve the health of residents.

Ms. Zeldin walked the audience through the Integrated Physical Needs Assessment (IPNA), a newly implemented tool to help evaluate a building’s health needs for new and existing housing developments throughout New York State. A new requirement for developers and landlords, the IPNA began to be included in existing physical needs assessment processes earlier this month and provides a checklist of high-, medium-, and low-cost fixes and additions that units can make for positive health outcomes. Enterprise Community Partners has been piloting the IPNA in two housing developments in upper Manhattan.

Read the speaker biographies here.

View PowerPoint slides from the event.

Watch a video of the event below: