Live course: Purposeful Placemaking: Planning Effective Life Plan Communities

When:  Dec 18, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  Design for Aging

Purposeful Placemaking: Planning Effective Life Plan Communities  

December 18, 2023 | 12-1pm ET | Earn 1 AIA LU/HSW


The built environment is a behavioral system. The facilities we inhabit shape our conduct and funnel our perceptions of the world around us – a reality that is critically important within care settings. The experiences our campuses offer, from the parking lot to the resident room, set the stage for the quality of life the built environment often imposes onto its users. This presentation will not only define the key strategies for the effective planning of Life Plan Communities to address shifting resident needs, it will provide a dynamic discussion surrounding the empirical research correlating placemaking and well-being while offering tools that can be utilized to qualify effective care campuses.

Learning objectives

  • Outline research explaining the built environment’s impact on longevity, the social determinants of health, and the success of modern senior living campuses
  • Define a series of fundamental planning components that frame how users experience the built environment
  • Discuss specific strategies for the development and operation of effective Life Plan Communities that qualify meaningful placemaking strategies and encourage resident agency
  • Present a series of case studies that illustrate the application of strategies that assist in planning a campus that is focused on cultivating a sense of belonging and choice within its residents


Megan Crites, AIA

Megan Crites, AIA

Megan has dedicated her expertise to long-term care, senior living, and behavioral health environments, designing projects of varying complexity. Her commitment to environments for aging adults is reflected in not only her architectural work, but in her community service as a member of several AIA Design for Aging National committees through the years. Megan’s ability to interact with clients on the responsibility of design in relation to quality of life has made her a valued member of the communities she serves. She has spoken nationally on the importance of design and the practice of creating supportive senior living environments.

Zach Benedict

Zach Benedict, AIA, LEED AP

As the firm’s president, Zach Benedict oversees MKM’s strategic operation and continued dedication to successfully serving clients throughout the Midwest. With an extensive background in urban sociology, he has been instrumental in developing the firm’s approach to healthy placemaking. Through these efforts, he has lectured internationally on a variety of topics that focus on encouraging communities to reevaluate the importance of inclusive civic space. While designing numerous projects ranging from rural hospitals to public libraries, Zach’s passion for MKM’s research-focused process has helped solidify the firm’s dedication to developing meaningful and disruptive design innovations with clients across the care continuum.