Destination hospital campus: Bringing mixed-use to traditional facilities
San Diego Daily Transcript, Architecture and Design, Thursday, September 11, 2008
Mixed-use development has reached a new level of evolution. In the past, traditional hospital campuses have never been a place where people particularly want to be. They are typically isolated and are not particularly attractive developments for retail, commercial and hospitality components. Yet the opposite can be true.
Through the later part of the 20th century, mixed-use developments have been popping up in efforts to shift away from suburban planning. Traditional models, such as housing over retail, help bring together aspects of community with access to everyday needs within walking distance. Modern town planning concepts have also aided in bringing the community closer together, yet still has not provided for the dynamic nature of health care.
Today, a new mixed-use model is integrating the hospital campus within a community. As the anchor of a mixed-use development, a hospital campus helps build a bridge between health care and the surrounding community.
These can be places where people feel comfortable and have a break from being at an isolated hospital campus. Now we see the progression to a full-functioning, mixed-use hospital campus that integrates and provides new comprehensive services including shopping/retail, restaurants, public space/parks, housing, fitness centers, lodging, continuing care retirement communities, office space and more.
Health care consumers are demanding more. Our society is focused more on preventative medicine than ever before, and these communities provide a wellness aspect clearly lacking on a traditional hospital campus. Integrating the different components allows people access to services all in one place, as well as promoting wellness and community through fitness centers, grocery stores and more.
A major risk of mixed-use development is keeping all businesses profitable. This is one of the largest benefits a hospital campus can provide. In times of economic downturn, mixed-use hospital campuses create jobs, increase revenue for health care systems, and especially cater to the revolutionized and diversified needs of the average American health care consumer. With these models also comes more sustainable design, increasing economic advantage.
This is an exciting and challenging trend just starting to make waves. It is thrilling to be involved in the forefront of a health care movement focused on community integration, creating a long-lasting community fabric.