Every city wants to be an active, healthy place where everyone can play sports and move around freely. But creating the active city is a challenge. Although we know about the importance of it since the 1950’s, we are facing a global pandemic of physical inactivity. Globally, around 31% of adults aged 15 and over were insufficiently active in 2008. It is not the lack of knowledge that is the problem. We clearly need a different way of thinking and doing in order to solve this challenge and create the city that activates everyone.
The reasons for why people don’t move are myriad, multifactorial, and complex. Looking for the one solution to solve it just won’t do it. But we do have ways to move forward. By using an integral, systems approach that focuses on populations and the complex interactions among the correlates of physical inactivity, rather than solely a behavioural science approach focusing on individuals.
Creating the active city is a constant process, in which city planning, intersectional knowledge and program development, listening to new voices in participation, training, advocacy & leadership all play its role. It is a collaborative process in which the energy emerges from creating new connections. By involving sports experts, designers, health professionals, urban planners, psychologists, sociologists, and most importantly, active and inactive citizens from the start.
The way we move in our cities has a direct impact on our own well-being and the well-being of our fellow citizens. Moving around we get to know our bodies, boost our creativity, discover new perspectives, get to know new people. Our work-out is to say goodbye to old-fashioned concepts on competition, excluding planning principles, and focus on the already active. Together we must move away from practices that make urbanization a reason for increasing physical inactivity and create truly thriving active cities, that leave nobody behind.
Read more on what we have to offer on our new Active City page.