New Guide Helps City Leaders Design for Physical Activity and Health

The "Active Cities Report" by the Designed to Move coalition provides detailed guidance concerning how to integrate physical activity into community design, and information on the economic, social and environmental benefits that result.
July 5, 2015, 7am PDT | Todd Litman
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Designed to Move is a coalition of more than 80 public, private, and civil sector organizations dedicated to ending the growing epidemic of physical inactivity. Their newest report, Active Cities: A Guide for City Leaders, provides detailed information concerning why and how to incorporate healthy physical activity into community design.

The report explains: 

This is about making our cities more competitive.

The research is clear on this claim. Integrating physical activity into the places we work, live, learn, travel, and play is the only way to ensure we move enough to thrive.

Physical inactivity is bankrupting economies at the national level, but it is felt most acutely by the world's cities—often through negative impacts on the health of people, economies, and the environment. This is bad news for cities and their citizens. The good news is there's a solution.

Our bodies are designed to move. Our cities should be too.

Higher levels of physical activity are associated with positive outcomes for most of the things that matter to city leaders. When people move more, crime, pollution, and traffic go down. Productivity, school performance, property values, health, and well-being improve drastically.

Cities that make physical activity a priority, convert existing spaces into active spaces, and design environments for people to be active will create a legacy of physical activity. These active cities will be better off by almost every possible measure.

Our purpose here is to provide a blueprint for creating active cities, whatever their size and wherever in the world they may be.

This report is based on an extensive body of academic research described in the article, "Co-benefits of Designing Communities for Active Living: An Exploration of Literature," written by a team lead by Dr. James F Sallis, recently published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 

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Published on Thursday, July 2, 2015 in Active Cities Report - A Guide for City Leaders
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