The Fit Cities 2013 conference, hosted by the Mayor of London and supported by the Cabe team was a great opportunity for us to kick off our latest initiative, Active by Design.

The event brought together more than 150 delegates from planning and architecture, public health, medicine and community development. The speakers shared how different countries and cities are using design to encourage activity inside buildings as well as outside in our public spaces and streets.

Much of this event was focussed on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics in London, particularly for the host boroughs surrounding the Olympic site in East London. These boroughs have quite poor public health statistics in terms of obesity and the associated problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even, it’s thought, dementia.

It was gratifying that much of the good practice that was showcased from the Olympic legacy site is applicable elsewhere away from London – creating safe routes to school, improving public realm literally outside people’s front doors (exemplified by Liz Kessler, a Cabe Built Environment Expert showing delegates around the EC1 project in Islington) making public spaces and parks places for activity for all ages.

Through the Design Council’s new initiative, Active by Design, we’ll be championing great design that encourages activity in our daily lives, and creating new opportunities for design and public health professionals to work together.

The video below, produced by the Greater London Authority team, captures some of the ideas shared at the conference.

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