Toward a Resilient and Restorative Healthcare Built Environment
In 2008, the Green Guide for Health Care released the outline of a broad vision of “restorative, regenerative and resilient healthcare” – a vision that Health Care Without Harm is beginning to evolve. This vision recognizes a future focused not simply on designing environmentally benign hospital buildings for an ever-expanding industrial-medical complex, but on a system of healthcare that supports vital communities that nurture health. This is a future vision of healthcare that moves beyond doing “less harm” – ie, reducing negative impacts from the design and operation of health care – to a future where the built environment “heals” or restores ecological and social capital. Today, Health Care Without Harm is working with leading healthcare organizations to link diverse environmental and community benefit initiatives together to coalesce this unique, powerful and transformative role for the sector.
With this vision comes a new focus on constructing a resilient healthcare infrastructure, capable of providing needed medical services during increasingly frequent, wide-ranging extreme weather and social events. Health Care Without Harm recognizes that a living, restorative and regenerative built environment is inherently more resilient to extreme weather, and can serve communities as safe havens during times of stress.