World Health Day


As we celebrate 2024 World Health Day “My Health, My Right“, we continue to reflect on the invaluable connection between architecture and well-being.

During the 2022 UIA Year of Design for Health, we embarked on a journey to illuminate the profound impact design choices have on both physical and mental health. From innovative healthcare facilities to sustainable urban planning, our resources delved into the transformative power of thoughtful design.

Scientific research has provided compelling evidence to support the notion that buildings have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the people who occupy them. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average person spends approximately 90% of their time indoors, underscoring the importance of prioritising well-being and health in the design, construction, and management of buildings. The relationship between buildings and human health is multidirectional, with buildings influencing the ecosystem and urban environments in turn affecting the health of buildings and their occupants. Environmental factors have been found to contribute to a substantial portion of disease burden and mortality rates. WHO estimates that about 24% of the global disease burden and 23% of deaths can be attributed to environmental factors. Shockingly, this figure rises to 36% for deaths in children under the age of 14. These statistics emphasise the critical role that our built environment plays in our overall health and well-being.

Given the significant amount of time we spend indoors, it is essential to prioritise the construction of healthy buildings that enhance the well-being of their occupants while reducing the risk of diseases. Several key factors contribute to the health impact of buildings.

In addition to physical aspects, the design and layout of buildings can also have a profound impact on mental health and social well-being. Incorporating green spaces, communal areas, and promoting social interaction within buildings can foster a sense of community and connection among occupants, thereby enhancing their overall well-being.

In summary, the design, construction, and management of buildings have a profound influence on the health and well-being of the people who inhabit them. By prioritising factors such as indoor air quality, natural light, noise reduction, and social integration, we can create healthier and more sustainable environments that promote the overall well-being of individuals. It is imperative that we recognise the importance of integrating well-being and health considerations into every stage of the building process to create spaces that support and enhance the health of their occupants.

 Today, as we navigate new challenges and opportunities in global health, the UIA remains steadfast in our commitment to championing designs that foster, restore, and rejuvenate well-being.

 Let’s continue to harness the potential of architecture to create healthier communities around the world.