Bill Mahar, 2017 Health Leader
Title: Senior Associate
Organization: Norris Design
Location: Denver, CO
Bill Mahar is an urban planner and designer with extensive, multifaceted experience in the public and private sectors. His 15 years of experience has focused on long-range planning, zoning and land use, entitlements, pedestrian and bicycle planning, and park design. In recent years, he has developed an intensive focus on public health and the built environment. This focus included work on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative for Tri-County Health Department within the Denver metro area. Further, as a private sector consultant he has worked on numerous community public health initiatives focusing on community design projects as well as land use policy efforts. In this capacity, he worked on numerous public outreach campaigns which often involved underserved communities and school districts.
Why are you motivated to participate in the Health Leaders Network? How will your participation enhance your current and future work?
As an urban planner and landscape architect, I have always been passionate about fostering a sense of place through creative, yet realistic improvements to parks, streetscapes, pedestrian spaces, and neighborhoods that improve the safety, livability, and vitality of a community. Early on in my career, I realized that health and well-being are a foundational component of livable, aesthetically pleasing, and safe community spaces and should always be utilized as guiding principles when considering community improvements. Understanding this important connection led to my interest and passion about how the built environment can impact health.
The Urban Land Institute has always been at the forefront of bringing forward emerging issues that are connected to the land development industry. Their commitment to focus on health and the built environment demonstrates that health considerations and how they can play a role in improving our communities must be a part of the conversation.
I am very honored and excited to participate in this program. The opportunities to engage with health leader members and the panel of experts will provide me with new insights and various perspectives from around the country. I hope to learn new strategies and tools that I can utilize in my work as I move forward and continue to be a champion for the inclusion of planning and design approaches that support health and well-being.