Developing Health-Centered Communities: The Next Revolution in Real Estate

Dates: April 13 – 17, 2020

Join leading figures from medicine, public health, urban design, and architecture to address the greatest challenge—and opportunity—facing urban and suburban planning today: developing health-centered communities.

Focusing on trailblazing new concepts, strategies, and technologies, Developing Health-Centered Communities features an interactive curriculum taught by renowned faculty from MIT and Harvard Medical School. Working closely with these experts, you will gain a strategic vision for how professionals in real estate and health care can work together to develop communities that thrive, build projects that create value, promote healthy living, and support aging-in-place.

Alongside a group of accomplished peers, you will participate in a project-based learning activity that includes small group work, site visits, and Health Impact Assessments. Guided by faculty, physicians, and planners, you will develop health-centered investment recommendations for a Boston neighborhood and present your project on the last day of the course.

In this program, you will discover how to:

  • Identify opportunities for creating value in real estate, focused on healthy communities
  • Apply program concepts to cases and models for healthy urban development
  • Implement design principles of healthy neighborhoods and understand the epidemiology of built environments
  • Model the economics of healthy communities from value proposition to ROI over time
  • Leverage Health Impact Assessments to inform development, health, and technology investments and improve health in a neighborhood context
  • Develop responsive architecture designs that use technologies that support children, the elderly, and those with special needs
  • Determine ways to identify and address health inequities and disparities within communities
  • Recognize circumstances where new models for health care delivery could contain costs
  • Connect with a new network of accomplished, interdisciplinary peers from around the globe


This course is designed for senior-level individuals across real estate, urban design, health care, and health technology. In particular, this program is well suited for:

  • Real estate developers and investors
  • Architects and urban designers
  • City planners and municipal government employees
  • Health technology entrepreneurs
  • Senior leaders from community health centers and hospitals
  • Health insurance executives


  • Design principles of healthy neighborhoods: medical evidence about how communities and built environments can influence health and disease (e.g., through effects on mobility, social interaction, the chemical and microbial environment); 
  • Economics of healthy communities: value proposition and ROI on a broad-scale, over time;
  • Wellness measures and neighborhood health impact assessments;
  • Responsive architecture and technologies that support children, the elderly  and those with special needs;
  • Healthy buildings
  • The demographics of an aging society and impact on health and disease
  • Forces shaping the future of health care: economics, digital platforms, sensors, artificial intelligence
  • New models for health care delivery
  • Health inequities and disparities within communities
  • The epidemiology of neighborhoods
  • Start-ups focused on healthy communities and cities

*Please note: Faculty and course content are subject to change


Dennis Frenchman is a Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, Director of the MIT Center for Real Estate in the School of Architecture and Planning, and Faculty Director of DesignX, MIT’s program for accelerating innovation in design cities and the human environment. Frenchman has taught and practiced extensively in Asia, Europe, and South America, and served as an external advisor on urban livability for the president of the World Bank. He is an expert on the application of digital technology to city design and has designed large-scale, media-oriented cities and industrial clusters.

Stanley Y. Shaw, MD, PhD is a cardiologist, inaugural Associate Dean for Executive Education at Harvard Medical School, and Chief Scientific Officer for Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s One Brave Idea, an initiative dedicated to understanding and treating the earliest stages of coronary heart disease. His research focuses on how digital health, bioinformatics, the gut microbiome, and patient-reported data can be leveraged to better assess health and disease. Dr. Shaw co-founded the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and helped develop one of the first ResearchKit iPhone apps in partnership with Apple.