Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Anne Hacker


While there is considerable academic research on the intersection of comprehensive plans, finance policies, zoning policies and how these factors influence real estate developers' choice of what land to develop and what buildings to construct on that land, little is understood about whether these three variables promote or hinder real estate developers' choice of whether to build communities that promote healthy living. Using urban planning theory as the foundation, the purpose of this correlational study was to determine how real estate developers' decisions are made to support healthy New Urbanism development in the United States. Secondary data from the Urban Land Institute were used for this multiple regression study that explored the degree to which comprehensive plans, finance, and zoning policies predict the likelihood that real estate developers will build New Urbanism communities in the United States. Findings indicated that comprehensive plans, finance policies, and zoning policies had a statistically significant influence on real estate developers' decisions on the types of communities to build in the United States by 53.6%, 46.8%, and 71.6% respectively p < .05. The information presented in this study is important to urban planners/designers, health care professionals, and municipal officials because of the intra and interdisciplinary approach of the built environment as a nonmedical determinant of health. Cultivating public and private collaboration to develop public policy could affect social change by directly affect the alterations and improvements in the built environment health that either promote or impede healthy outcomes.