Healthy Corridors

Many arterial roadways across the country prioritize automobiles over pedestrians
Many arterial roadways across the country prioritize automobiles over pedestrians

Across the U.S., communities have aspirations to become more economically vibrant, equitable, and sustainable places. 

However, while there is little debate that vibrant mixed-use communities with viable alternatives to driving are desirable assets for revitalizing downtown environments, few communities have found the package of investments or policy interventions that can turn outdated retail and auto-dominated strips into corridors that truly serve their communities.

How can these corridors 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.


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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