Health Department, American Institute of Architects New York, To Host 12th Annual FitCity Conference

The theme, “Engagement by Design: Active Citizens, Active City,” addresses the role of urban design in building healthy and sustainable communities

June 5, 2017 — The Health Department and the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) today announced that the 12th annual FitCity conference will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Launched in 2006, FitCity is a day-long conference that promotes healthy living through the design of active spaces; last year over 200 people attended. This year, the conference, called “Engagement by Design: Active Citizens, Active City,” will explore the role that environment and race play in driving health disparities and how urban design – including community-driven arts-based activities and evidence-based design strategies – can promote social cohesion and improve mental and physical health outcomes.

FitCity 2017Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett will deliver the opening keynote address and speak about health inequities, the contributing role of structural racism, internal reform and other initiatives to improve adverse social conditions that affect people’s health. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell Silver will deliver the closing keynote address focusing on the role of green space in creating a health-oriented environment.

“Green spaces, playgrounds and public safety vary among neighborhoods in New York City, which means that New Yorkers’ ability to pursue physical activity is limited by where they live,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “This year’s FitCity conference is about how we can pursue change to make our city’s spaces more equitable and make New Yorkers healthier.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with DOHMH on this important initiative that promotes healthy living through good design,” said Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director of AIA New York and the Center for Architecture. “With each year of this conference, we’re witness to the increased importance of design in a city that cares deeply about creating equal access to healthy, vibrant neighborhoods anchored by committed civic institutions and the citizens who engage them.”

“High-quality parks and public spaces are part of any vibrant city's health infrastructure, providing crucial, accessible resources for physical and emotional wellness,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “That's why I'm looking forward to taking part in FitCity, which recognizes and explores the deep connections between public health and the public realm.”

For more information about FitCity 2017, including the program schedule, visit: FitCity.

About AIA New York
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with more than 5,500 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development. www.aiany.org

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Media contacts:
Camila Schaulsohn (AIANY): 212.358.6114, cschaulsohn@aiany.org
Christopher Miller / Stephanie Buhle (DOHMH): 347.396.4177, pressoffice@health.nyc.gov