Did you know that, health officials anticipate that one of 11 people in the U.S. will be at least 100 lb overweight by 2030? Or, in the U.S. alone,13-million school days are missed each year due to asthma-related illnesses? How about that the number of children with type 2 diabetes has tripled since 1980?
Scary statistics. The Urban Land Institute thinks so. So much that it has launched a Building Healthy Places Initiative, an effort to explore the role of health in the built environment.
"The facts are really troubling," said Lynn Thurber, ULI's global chair, at the ULI winter meeting in Chicago. "We think ULI can help rethink what, where and how we build," she added, at the initiative's kickoff event, Nov. 6.
To help create awareness among its members, 
ULI  developed 10 principles for building healthy places. They are: put people first; recognize economic value; empower champions for health; energize shared spaces; make healthy choices easy, ensure equitable access; mix it up, as in mixed-use development; embrace unique character; promote access to healthy food; and make it active, as in lively urban design that boosts physical activity.
In addition to raising awareness, ULI is going to make a business case to convince developers to rethink their projects along the lines of health. "ULI needs to make the business case if we are going to move the needle forward," said Thurber.