by Kate Rube Active Design Guidelines National Training Manager
Event: Fit City 6: Promoting Physical Activity through Design
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.17.11
Speakers: Health Keynote: Karen Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPC (Introduction) — Director, Built Environment Program, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH); Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH — Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity & Arkansas Surgeon General; Commissioners’ Panel 1: Active Design in the City: Rick Bell, FAIA — Executive Director, AIANY (Introduction & Moderator); Adrian Benepe — Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation; Amanda Burden, FAICP, Hon. AIANY — Commissioner, NYC City Planning Department; David Burney, FAIA — Commissioner, NYC Department of Design + Construction; Andrew Goodman, MD, MPH — Deputy Commissioner, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, NYC DOHMH; Wendy Feuer — Assistant Commissioner for Art and Urban Desing, NYC Department of Transportation; Fit World: Designing Active Communities Across the Globe: Skye Duncan (Introduction & Moderator) — Associate Urban Designer, NYC Department of City Planning; Carlos Santos-Burgoa, MD, MPH, Ph.D — Senior Advisor on Violence, Injury and Human Security, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Louise Cox, LFRAIA, RIBA, Intl. Assoc. AIA — President, International Union of Architects; Rosan Bosch — Managing Director, Rosan Bosch Ltd; Fitness Break: Sarah Gluck, Urban Movement Design Design Keynote: Joyce Lee, AIA, LEED AP (Introduction) — Director of Active Design Program, NYC Department of Design + Construction; Kai-Uwe Bergmann, AIA, RIBA, MAA, LEED AP — Associate Partner, Director Business Development, Bjarke Ingels Group; Commissioners’ Panel 2: Active Design in the City: Suzanne Nienaber (Introduction & Moderator) — Training Coordinator, NYC Active Design Program; E. Bruce Barrett, RA, LEED AP BC+D — Vice President, Architecture & Engineering, NYC School Construction Authority; Ira Gluckman, AIA — Queens Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Buildings; Edna Wells Handy — Commissioner, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services; Laurie Kerr, AIA — Senior Policy Advisor, NYC Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability; Matthew P. Sapolin — Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; Private Sector & Community Leadership: Desiging Spaces for Active and Healthy Children: Kate Rube (Introduction & Moderator) — Active Design National Training Manager; Abraham Jelin, MD — President, New York Chapter 2 of American Academy of Pediatrics; Elena Madison — Assistant Vice President, Project for Public Spaces, Inc.; Charles Renfro, AIA — Principal, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Yvonne Isaac — Vice President of Operations, Full Spectrum of NY
Welcome: Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — President, AIA New York Chapter & Principal, Helpern Architects
Organizer: AIANY; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
More than 275 people gathered at the Center for Architecture for Fit City 6, the sixth annual summit on how design of the built environment impacts physical activity and health issues. A collaboration between AIANY and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Fit City events have led to the publication of the award-winning Active Design Guidelines, which provides strategies for architects, planners, and policy makers on how to design communities, streets, and buildings to encourage physical activity and access to healthy food choices.
With 23% of NYC’s population confronting obesity, and one in eight adults suffering with diabetes, the social and medical costs of the city’s design decisions are dramatic. Fit City 6 featured speakers from 10 city agencies, including the Commissioners of the NYC Departments of Parks and Recreation, City Planning, Design + Construction, and Citywide Administrative Services. From the redevelopment of the city’s waterfront as a recreation destination, to numerous zoning changes that support walking and bicycling, and the closure of city streets for events like Summer Streets and PlayStreets, the city has embraced active design as a means to a healthier and sustainable future.
The conference also benefitted from innovative international design examples. Rosan Bosch, a Copenhagen-based artist, showcased her designs of libraries and schools that encourage physical activity for children, such as low-cost strategies to make stairs more prominent. Her presentation was complemented with “jumpUP, jumpDOWN, jumpZONE,” an exhibition at the Center for Architecture, which featured activity “zones” she designed to encourage physical exercise in public spaces, including zones for jumping jacks and shopping bag lifting. Charles Renfro, AIA, principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, presented several projects inspired by the idea of applying lessons learned from horizontal design to vertical design, such as a vertical “campus green” and staircases that become rooms or resting places. And Sarah Gluck of Urban Movement Design provided fitness breaks throughout the day.