A Framework for Wellness in the Built Environment

Chiharu Shiota, a Japanese performance, and installation artist educated in Japan, Australia, and Germany writes, “Our first skin is human skin. Clothes make up our second skin. Our third skin is made up of our living spaces – the walls, doors and windows that surround the human body.”

This “third skin” – the residential, hospitality, retail, commercial, civic, institutional, educational, urban and suburban spaces we all occupy – is responsible for up to 85% of our health outcomes. It is the true foundation of all things wellness, and holistically impacts social, physical, mental, environmental, economic, and civic wellness.

GWI’s Wellness Communities & Real Estate Initiative developed a definition and a framework to inspire and educate others creating wellness real estate and communities. Wellness communities are built environments proactively designed to support the holistic health of those who live, work and play there. They are intentional, scalable, focused, contextual, activated, and respectful. A copy of the GWI Wellness Communities & Real Estate Initiative’s framework can be found here.

To inspire more conversation and engagement with wellness real estate, initiative Co-Chair, Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, has written a series of feature length articles in The Builders Daily, each one focused on one specific wellness domain, including case studies and interviews with some of the makers of wellness real estate. The series can be found here with more content planned. When GWI released data on the wellness economy last year, wellness real estate ranked the fastest growing sector of the wellness economy, with far reaching and interconnected impacts on all areas of wellness.

The Global Wellness Summit is at the forefront of wellness in the built environment, having hosted two Wellness Communities and Real Estate Symposiums in New York City. The third is planned for May 14, 2024 in NYC and promises to be the biggest yet, bringing together developers, investors, architects, planners, designers, researchers, educators, and owners from all real estate asset classes for a full day of in-depth conversations, ideas and inspiration from the leaders in the world of wellness real estate. Watch this space for more fresh content on wellness communities and real estate each month leading up to the Symposium.

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