CNU’s initiatives advance bipartisan reforms that deliver market-based improvements to the economy, the environment and public health. Initiatives work to remove codes, standards, and financial and tax incentives that act as obstacles to the creation of vibrant, healthy, value-driven and better-performing districts. CNU’s initiative work is based on tasks that can be completed within a specific timeframe and directly relate to CNU’s strategic goals: Sustainability, Transportation, Regionalism, Affordability, Financing and Entitlements, and Accessibility and Visitability.
CNU 20 offered an opportunity for renewed focus and vigor in the advancement and development of CNU’s many member-led initiatives. Open Source sessions, Salons and working lunches were all had by groups behind the Project for Transportation Reform, Sprawl Retrofit, Live/Work/Walk: Removing Obstacles to Investment and the recently convened Health Districts.
New initiative for health districts and VHA facilities
As the true health impacts of our auto-oriented communities emerge, the relationship between our trusted healthcare institutions and the patterns of development that they follow have significant consequence. Concerned with requirements for safety, efficiency and security, health facilities have grown in size and scale throughout the last century, often at the expense of walkability and livability and a connection to the surrounding neighborhoods. The Health Districts initiative aims to address these issues at this critical juncture in our national healthcare debate. The focus is shifting to disease prevention and much of this can be accomplished through better planning.
Livable, walkable neighborhoods are critical to healthy neighborhoods and to Health Districts — those that contain one or multiple health facilities. With assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). David Green, Basak Alkan and colleagues from Perkins+Will, Joanna Lombard from University of Miami and CNU leadership, this initiative will work to advance urban design and planning criteria for Health Districts and, in particular, for Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. These criteria will focus on promoting a healthy built environment that benefits patients, patients’ families, health care staff and neighbors.
More information on CNU’s Health Districts initiative can be found at www.cnu.org/healthdistricts.