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Active Design

Your city should be your greatest ally in health and well-being.

Growing out of our authorship and implementation of the NYC Active Design Guidelines, our healthy living guiding principles match the Mayor’s commitment to create a built environment that adds to a sense of well-being for individuals, families and neighborhoods. D+CE 2.0 brings new attention to mental health and physical needs of the culturally diverse population of New York City.

Physical inactivity and unhealthy diet are second only to tobacco as the main cause of premature death in the United States. A growing body of research suggests that architecture and urban design strategies can encourage regular physical activity and healthy eating. Active Design Guidelines provides architects and urban designers with a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets, and urban spaces, based on the latest academic research and best practices in the field. Active Design Guidelines includes:
  • Urban design strategies for creating neighborhoods, streets, and outdoor spaces that encourage walking, bicycling, active transportation and recreation.
  • Building design strategies for promoting active lifestyles through the placement and design of stairs, elevators, and indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Discussion of synergies between active and sustainable design initiatives such as LEED and PlaNYC.


Active Design Guidelines was developed in partnership with: Department of Health and Mental HygieneDepartment of TransportationDepartment of City PlanningOffice of Management and Budget