Can Tampa revitalize its downtown by focusing on public health?

The City of Tampa, Florida has joined with real estate developer Strategic Property Partners and consultants Delos to become the first U.S. city to design a district with public health as the driving principle.

Every aspect of the 40-acre waterfront area — its buildings, walkability, low-pollen trees and more — is intended to make its inhabitants live healthier lives.

After making a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to create guidelines for health-focused building design, Delos developed what it calls the Well Building Standard.

Once finished, the district would be granted “Well Certification,” with office space and residences constructed will inhabitants’ health in mind.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal says the move is also about economic development: “Vinik, who is working to lure a corporate headquarters to anchor the district, said Tuesday that the wellness focus is a “major selling point” for potential tenants. Not only among millennials, but all age groups these days, health and wellness is a major item that people are focusing on and care about,” Vinik said. “Some of the companies we’ve talked to are already aware of Delos and some of them aren’t, but in every single case it has if nothing else piqued their interest.

Beyond the buildings, other plans are being laid out for the area, including better walkability, more green space, sound barriers to cut down on noise pollution, air quality monitoring and green infrastructure.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, SPP “estimates there will be $20 million in public and private funds invested on health- and wellness-focused technologies and design strategies,” with the city’s contribution in the infrastructure area like bike paths and better sidewalks.

See Next City article & photo credit.

See Tampa Bay Business Journal article.

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