Healthy Corridors

ULI’s Healthy Corridors Project explores how commercial corridors can be transformed to become safe, healthy, vibrant, mixed-use places with next-generation infrastructure.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation, ULI is investigating best practices to reinvent under-performing suburban and urban arterials in health-promoting ways. This work will help advance efforts to foster places that promote health for the people who live, work, and travel on these streets.


Blind Spots: How Unhealthy Corridors Harm Communities and How to Fix Them

This report by the Urban Land Institute and Smart Growth America examines unhealthy corridors, including their prevalence and location, the conditions they share, and the impact they have on people’s lives. It also explores the land use and transportation decisions that give rise to and perpetuate their existence, as well as opportunities to use policy and practice levers to shape them into something better. The appendix to the report can be accessed here.

Envisioning Healthy Corridors: Lessons from Four Communities 

A supplement to the 2016 publication Building Healthy Corridors: Transforming Urban and Suburban Arterials into Thriving Places, this report describes the experiences of and lessons learned from the four demonstration corridors that participated in the second phase of ULI’s Healthy Corridors project and provides a set of common recommendations from both phases of the project that can be implemented to improve health along commercial corridors.

Building Healthy Corridors: Transforming Urban and Suburban Arterials into Thriving Places

This report explores strategies for transforming commercial corridors—found in nearly every community across the United States—into places that support the health of the people who live, work, and travel along them. It is the result of a two-year project that involved partnerships with four communities in the United States that are working to improve a specific corridor in ways that positively affect health.


About the Project


The Healthy Corridors project operates on both a national and a local level.

Locally, seven of ULI’s District Councils are engaged throughout the duration of the project and have identified a problematic corridor in their cities to focus on, referred to as Demonstration Corridors. Each of the eight Demonstration Corridors has formed a local leadership group of experts and is engaging other critical stakeholders conversations that focus on the corridor and how the health of the people living along it can be improved through partnerships, collaboration, and on-the-ground changes.

A National Working Group of leading experts in land use, development, planning, health, community engagement, and design has been formed to oversee the project and the work in the Demonstration Corridors. Download bios of National Working Group members.

Project Objectives

Through this project, led by the Building Healthy Places Initiative and the Rose Center for Public Leadership, ULI is:

  • Developing and refining approaches for creating a holistically healthy corridor.
  • Identifying approaches that work for spurring real change along the corridors.
  • Leveraging new understanding among the ULI networks, nurturing and informing a community of practice around effective approaches to creating healthy corridors.
  • Disseminating lessons learned from demonstration corridors throughout the ULI member and partner networks.

Project-Focused Articles

Pounding the Pavement for Better Health
Winter 2016
On Common Ground, National Association of Realtors®

A Healthier, More Connected Future for Underperforming Commercial Corridors
November 23, 2015
Urban Land Magazine

Better Corridors for Healthier Communities: Project Investigates Best Practices
September/October 2015
Transportation Research Board TR News (page 25)

Forum in Houston Looks at Shifting the Focus from Cars to People
May 20, 2015
Urban Land Magazine

ULI Receives $250,000 Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
October 17, 2014
ULI Press Release

About the Building Healthy Places Initiative

The Building Healthy Places Initiative leverages the power of ULI's global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities. Learn more.

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