GURNER Group Plots Aussie Wellness Utopia

Gurner Group

Purpose-built wellness cities are taking shape.

The latest: Elysium Fields, a “wellness and anti-ageing Utopia”, could be coming to Melbourne’s waterside Docklands area. A futuristic biosphere-like dome covering 27K square metres, the wellness city merges people and preventative health.

Its developer GURNER Group plans ~1.7K homes in neighbourhoods optimised for sleep, sunlight, movement, nutrition and social connection.

If you build it… In addition to wellness community essentials like walkability and green spaces, hospitality and retail offerings are interspersed with exercise- and longevity-focused facilities, including its luxe members-only club Saint Haven.

A reverse-ageing clinic issues personalised treatments spanning cryotherapy, IV infusions, infrared saunas, MRIs and DEXA scans. Keeping residents moving, a pedestrian-focused “path of life” encourages running, yoga, recovery and meditation.

Still in the proposal stage, Victoria’s government will decide whether it gets the green light.

It Takes a Village

Wellness real estate is big business, with the sector slated to reach $887B by 2027. As medical tourism grows and concepts like Life Time’s health-focused fitness villages scale, wellness cities are next.

  • Saudi Arabia’s ambitious NEOM project will create a mega-city conceptualised around health and wellness.
  • Bhutan is building a 1K-square-km Mindfulness City prioritising economic growth and well-being through Eastern and Western healthcare clinics and spiritual centres.
  • Próspera runs a charter village in Honduras, with a wellness clinic offering peptides and weight-loss treatments, plus longevity drug testing from biotech firm Minicircle.

Takeaway: Undoing many of the harmful effects of modern society, purpose-built environments could boost well-being. But, new developments will require significant backing from policymakers and funders, raising questions over who gets access and how much it costs.