Studies increasingly demonstrate that the design and function of built spaces can contribute significantly to health disparities. Lower income neighborhoods more often lack safe and well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, sidewalks and attractive scenery, resulting in higher rates of obesity, depression, and distress, shorter life expectancy and reduced feelings of social cohesion that lead to greater risk of stroke. These inequalities also contribute to socioeconomic burdens – in Canada, for example, socioeconomic health inequalities impose a direct economic burden of at least $6.2 billion annually. Moreover, research in the U.S. reveals a decline in community social support and social relations, with people who feel disconnected from their local community encountering more mental health issues than those who have a strong community connection. Buildings that provide spaces for public use can encourage greater social interaction, social networks, civic engagement, physical activity and collective feelings of community ownership, thereby reducing public health challenges like stress, depression and chronic disease in the surrounding community. Additionally, projects that offer community programming can foster social cohesion, community empowerment and collective trust, which are linked to decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and mortality and improved physical and mental health, happiness and healthy behaviors. Project owners and developers should consider how built spaces can be made more available to the surrounding community, encourage use by a variety of individuals and promote equitable community improvement and engagement.