News Analysis

Architects Fight Obesity Epidemic Through "Active Design"

The Active Design Guidelines developed by New York City collect many of these design strategies—for cities, neighborhoods, and individual buildings—into a free reference guide. Baani Singh, Assoc. AIA, who is healthy LEED and green development coordinator at New York’s Center for Active Design, points to alarming rates of obesity: 40% of children and 60% of adults in New York are overweight or obese. Singh claims that since the City started focusing on healthy food and physical activity, her office has seen a reversal in childhood obesity trends. “All of this awareness is actually helping,” she says.

Active design features include some already-familiar sustainable design strategies, such as facilities for cyclists and access to public transit, as well as several emerging strategies not yet deeply encoded in sustainable design:

Published February 2, 2012