about esther greenhouse

Helping society create environments which enable people to thrive!

esther-greenhouse-smAdvisor, author, speaker, instructor, advocate.

Esther Greenhouse is an environmental gerontologist–a specialist in the relationship of the built environment to the functioning and well-being of seniors.  She is the leading advocate for raising awareness of Enabling Design + Environmental Fit and Press.

Ms. Greenhouse’s goal is to bring about a paradigm shift whereby society views Enabling Design as a missing variable in public health.  It is crucial that decision makers go beyond appreciating good design, to understanding that the status quo of design is not benign, but is actually pushing our nation’s seniors to an artificially lower level of functioning–which is preventable.  She is achieving this change by writing, delivering presentations, teaching, and serving as an advisor to a range of companies and communities.

She has been invited to contribute to such projects as Henry Cisneros’ book Independent for Life, the PBS series Design for a Lifetime, the NYS Livable Communities Manual, and the nation’s first elder-focused emergency department at Holy Cross.   Ms. Greenhouse has been a researcher and guest lecturer at Cornell University, where she completed a BS in Interior Design; a Certificate of Gerontology; an MS in Applied Research in Human Environment Relations; and was the first student in the doctoral program of Human Behavior & Design, in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis.


“Esther Greenhouse demonstrates through her research, writing, presentations, and work with builders that she has important answers to the challenges of preparing the nation’s housing stock for the growing number of aging Americans who want or need to live at home.  Her work is based on solid research and is grounded on practical solutions available to the building industry.  Esther’s skills are unique and well-matched to the hard work ahead as we prepare our homes and communities for the future.”  

The Honorable Henry Cisneros, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development 1993-1997; Founder and Executive Chairman, City View


Ms. Greenhouse has served as an advisor to an array of clients such as major manufacturers, senior housing, and hospitals.  She is a speaker nationally at the American Planning Association National Conference, the International Builders Show, and the Universal Design Summit, as well as locally and regionally for senior advocacy groups, municipalities, and professional associations.  In 2008, the CAPS Board of Governors selected her as the Certified Aging in Place Specialist of the Year for her advocacy and excellence in teaching.   Her work and messages have been featured in Professional Builder, Remodeling, and The New York Times.  Ms. Greenhouse recently co-authored the American Planning Association’s (APA) first Aging in Community Policy Guide and is a reviewer for the Journal of Housing for the Elderly.