U.S. Mayors Double Down on Healthy Buildings To Support Healthier, More Resilient Cities

Miami Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Francis Suarez rallies the nation’s mayors to step on healthy buildings by embracing WELL as a key solution for advancing healthier cities.
Jun 6, 2022 4:10 PM ET
Press Release

RENO, Nev., June 6, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Today, as part of a renewed commitment to public health and national resilience, the nation’s mayors passed a major resolution to advance healthy buildings as a key strategy to support community preparedness and foster healthier, stronger cities. The policy resolution, adopted this morning by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and its membership of over 1,400 cities at the conclusion of its 90th annual meeting in Reno, also encourages communities to lead by example across their municipal buildings by using the International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Health-Safety Rating.

“In Miami, and in cities across the country, we are looking much closer at the outsized role buildings play in keeping us safe and healthy,” said Mayor Francis Suarez, City of Miami and USCM President, who led the resolution along with co-sponsoring Mayors Steve Adler (Austin, TX), Todd Gloria (San Diego, CA) and Corey Woods (Tempe, AZ). “In fact, we spend roughly 90 percent of our time indoors, which underscores how important it is that our buildings are better positioned to protect and enhance human health.”

The resolution, titled “Advancing Healthy Buildings to Support Community and National Preparedness and Resilience,” urges cities to leverage available federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to help spur local action across public building portfolios.

“Once again, mayors are out in front, adopting timely and significant policy that helps blaze a trail for people-first places in cities across the country,” said IWBI’s President and CEO Rachel Hodgdon. “We commend Mayor Suarez for his leadership, and the entire U.S. Conference of Mayors, for adopting this resolution and doubling down on WELL and its health and well-being strategies as a bedrock for driving healthier cities.”

Last week, Miami became the first city in the country to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating across a portfolio of city buildings. To help inspire fellow mayors, Mayor Suarez has urged other cities to follow suit and take similar action to lead on healthy buildings.

“By embracing WELL for our public buildings, we are stepping up — we’re walking the walk. I’m proud that this portfolio of city buildings, including our City Hall, is being recognized by IWBI, the world’s leading authority on healthy buildings,” said Mayor Suarez upon achieving the milestone. “I hope other cities will replicate what Miami is doing to advance WELL buildings, so we can deliver the benefits of healthy buildings to communities everywhere.”

In addition to the resolution, the USCM 90th Annual Meeting, which hosted hundreds of mayors in Reno, kicked off its Friday opening plenary with an armchair conversation between Mayor Suarez and IWBI Founder Paul Scialla, focusing on how cities can lead on WELL to achieve their healthy building goals.

"We’re looking forward to highlighting Miami – named the healthiest city in the country - and its achievement of the WELL Health-Safety Rating across municipal buildings, as a blueprint for other mayors to follow,” said Scialla, during the plenary session in Reno. “Mayors across the country are already leading. As they continue to use WELL to demonstrate that public buildings are safer, healthier and have the right protocols in place, other sectors will take note and follow their lead.”

Increasingly, local leaders are utilizing WELL to support health and well-being in their cities, including:

  • Miami, FL became the first in the country to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating across a portfolio of municipal buildings;
  • Austin, TX was one of the first cities in the country to achieve WELL Gold certification for one of its signature city buildings, the Permitting and Development Center;
  • Aspen, CO was one of the first cities in the country to achieve WELL Silver certification in its City Hall and policy department;
  • Chicago, IL was one of the first cities to reference WELL as a pathway to meet requirements in its local sustainable building policy; and
  • Columbia, SC has a portfolio of municipal buildings enrolled in the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

These city achievements reflect the USCM healthy buildings resolution, which, as noted, also aligns with concerted efforts being made to advance community preparedness. For example, it states:

“As the country moves forward and works to fortify against COVID-19 and future threats, cities and businesses alike are now embracing preparedness plans that support health and well-being in buildings to maximize prevention and minimize risk, including the adoption of healthy building tools like the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, an evidence-based, third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, cleaning protocols, and design strategies.”

WELL is now being adopted in 110 countries in 35,000 locations totaling 3.5 billion square feet of all space types. It is the leading global framework for scaling health across buildings, organizations and communities. Developed over 10 years and backed by the latest scientific research, WELL outlines key building-level interventions and organizational strategies across 10 categories: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Each year, during its annual conference, USCM approves a range of policy resolutions. These policy positions adopted collectively represent the views of the nation’s mayors and are distributed to the President of the United States and Congress.

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people-first places to advance a global culture of health. IWBI mobilizes its community through the administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and the WELL Health-Safety Rating, management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and well-being everywhere. More information on WELL can be found here.

International WELL Building Institute pbc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delos Living LLC. International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, WELL Portfolio Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Health-Equity, WELL Performance Rated, WELL Performance Rating, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

Media Contact: media@wellcertified.com

View original content here.