Healthcare Design and Well-being

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Health and the Built Environment
Healthcare Architecture is a growing and developing field with design implications that cover a wide range of scales, from urban planning to the design of a single patient room. U-SoA explores these different scales, while providing a multi-disciplinary approach to Healthcare Architecture. Collaborations within the University of Miami, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, the School of Business, and the College of Engineering, provide students a dynamic and experiential learning environment.

Professor Joanna Lombard initiated the School’s Healthcare Design Studio in 2014. Lombard and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are founding members of the University of Miami’s Built Environment Behavior & Health Research Group, which has collaborated on numerous studies including a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-funded research investigation of the relationship of built (physical) environment “walkability” characteristics such as land-use mix, greenery, and transit in relation to obesity and related chronic health outcomes and health care costs among 750,000 Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries in Miami-Dade County, Florida; a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases-funded study examining built environment walkability in relation to Hispanic immigrants’ physical activity and progression on metabolic syndrome indicators; and a collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Parks Department to investigate the relationship of parks access to health. The Built Environment Behavior & Health Research Group is one of the eleven university-based teams selected as charter members of the American Institute of Architects Design & Health Research Consortium.

Ongoing Projects and Resources:

Built Environment Behavior & Health Research Group. The research group is one of the eleven university-based teams selected as charter members of the American Institute of Architects Design & Health Research Consortium. Recent studies include H.U.D. - funded research on the impact of greenness on the health of Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries, and current work with FLDOH in Miami Dade and MDPROS to enhance access to parks and physical activity through a mobile web application and expansion of healthy messaging.

Healthcare Design Colloquium. The annual colloquium showcases themes in the global healthcare marketplace, such as health education, health research, healthcare design, and healthcare business and technology. It is meant to dovetail with and complement the Business School’s annual Business of Health Care Conference with an emphasis on design issues.

Evidence-Based Healthcare Design Research. Initiated in 2016 by Deborah Franqui, this research-based design seminar focuses on healthcare buildings and site planning through active engagement with evidence-based design, working with healthcare providers in specific locations. Students engage in research, participatory planning processes, and the development of design proposals based on research-validated strategies significant to health and well-being with guidance from faculty and professionals in healthcare architecture and healthcare delivery.