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

A program offered by the MIT Center for Real Estate and Harvard Medical School in partnership with MIT Professional Education.

Join leading figures from medicine, public health, urban design, and architecture to explore innovative frameworks for driving value at the intersection of health care and the built environment. Leveraging insights from top Harvard Medical School Executive Education and MIT Center for Real Estate faculty, you’ll develop a strategic vision for building projects that create value, promote healthy living, support aging-in-place, and produce communities that thrive. 

Program Overview

The next revolution in real estate has arrived: health-centered communities. This emerging opportunity is not only the result of persistent disruption caused by the pandemic, but also due to shifting demographics, technological advances, new health care delivery models, and evolving real estate trends. Millennials are pursuing better work/life balance and physical environments that support their well-being. At the same time, baby boomers are seeking convenient, affordable, aging-in-place options. 

In recent years, emerging medical evidence about how the built environment impacts health—including chronic illnesses—has heightened interest in health-centered communities. And now, COVID-19 has upended conventional thinking about urban vs. suburban planning, and residential and commercial real estate. This confluence of medical and real estate trends provides opportunities for new developments and products that will benefit society.

In this first-of-its-kind program, leading faculty from medicine, public health, urban design, and architecture will come together to address the greatest challenge—and opportunity—facing urban and suburban planners today: developing health-centered communities. 

Focusing on trailblazing new concepts, strategies, and technologies, MIT Professional Education, Harvard Medical School Executive Education, and MIT Center for Real Estate are bringing together top researchers, architects, urban planners, and real estate professionals, along with physicians, epidemiologists, and health tech entrepreneurs. Participants will gain a strategic vision for how professionals in health care and the built environment can work together to build projects that create value, promote healthy living, support aging-in-place, and develop communities that thrive.

Alongside a group of accomplished peers, you will participate in a project-based, applied learning activity that includes small-group work, virtual site visit of the project, 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. 

Register today to preview the future of urban development, forge cross-industry partnerships, and learn how you can be a part of this growing and critical market.

Participant Takeaways

  • Identify opportunities for creating value through 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

Who Should Attend

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

Program Outline

This timely program is composed of 18, 75-minute live virtual sessions, which will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. EDT over a three-week period. Note: The first and last days will begin at 9:15 AM and end at 2:15 PM EDT.

Please note: Faculty and course content subject to change. 

Topics to be covered in the course include:

  • 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