Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Active cities

The Transportation Research Board (USA) recently issued a guide for city leaders on improving how cities support active lifestyles. I love the way the USA makes guidelines, statistics and research publicly available for free. They have some brilliant resources. Although they tend to be focused on the USA they are often more applicable in Australia than similar European research and guidance.

I love this quote from the report:
'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.'
The report has some great statistics and info-graphics. Not all the research is from the USA as the guideline is aiming to show a broad base of evidence of the benefits of active cities. In fact Adelaide is mentioned as an example of a city that is doing well at supporting activity.

The guideline gives simple and practical advice on supporting the development of an active city related to:
  • open spaces and parks
  • urban design and land use
  • transport
  • schools
  • building design and work spaces
It then gives policy interventions that will deliver positive outcomes - including 'quick wins'. And then it also provides links to a wealth of tools and resources. This guideline is a valuable resource that is aimed at the non-technical leader / decision makers in cities. It would be good to get more awareness of it amongst transport planning professionals and public figures.

Brisbane is doing many of these interventions and that is one of the reasons I love living here. Wouldn't it be great if these principles could be completely embraced by our cities.  

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