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Searching for Health and Wellbeing Commercial Real Estate Actor Encounters with Planning in the Urban Decision-Making 'Black Box'

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A body of research has highlighted the transformative effects of the financialization and internationalization of real estate investment for city and regional development. However, little attention has been paid to the human health and wellbeing implications of the practices of the actors who mediate commercial real estate investment flows and their encounters with urban planning. Based on interview evidence from twenty-one senior international real estate industry actors, this paper addresses this gap. Using actor-network theory to assist with deconstructing the interaction between the actors and planning in the urban decision-making 'black box', we offer a new way to strengthen theoretical understanding of 'black boxing'. We find that despite a common perception that the interests of commercial real estate investment and urban planning actors are generally dichotomous, awareness of health and wellbeing has become prevalent amongst major real estate actors as an important component of sustainable investment. We conclude that robust public health evidence is needed to place human health and wellbeing at the forefront in the urban decision-making black box.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2023

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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