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You and Your Family are Designed to Move

June 23rd, 2015 Written By Carol Pawley

Family Outing…no screens attached.

Studies by Designed to Move, a coalition founded by Nike in 2012—which  now includes more than 80 sports and health organizations—has established the link between “active environments” and healthier populations.  Evidence also points to the fact that cities are more productive when they make themselves “more active.”

Put simply, the research shows active cities are healthier, wealthier, safer, greener and more cohesive. Not surprisingly, the people who live in them are happier.

Let’s get our cities Moving! Here are 5 practical ideas from Designed to Move

Keep parks open late.

Phoenix saw a 55% reduction in youth crime after it opened basketball and other courts until 2AM in the summer. In the winter, when it reverts to regular hours, crime rates went up again.

Open schools to the public.

Making tax-supported resources available to the public provides more opportunities for community members to get active.

Reduce speed limits.

Studies show cutting vehicle speeds from 30 MPH to 20 MPH, as New York City has done, produces safer, more walkable environments.

Open building staircases.

Stairs are more than a fire escape. They are a healthy way to get from one floor to another.  Buildings can keep stairs open to encourage daily use.

Make it easier to close streets. 

Allowing neighbors to organize block parties helps foster play and brings communities together. The British city of Bristol, for example, allows people to file “Temporary Play Street Orders” online. Families love the option and it’s helped to strengthen the city’s reputation as a playable city.

In addition, Designed to Move recommends cities put more fitness equipment in parks, integrate cycling with public transit, introduce “pocket parks” (small pieces of urban space turned over recreation), and have more car-free streets.

Let’s do it South Florida!

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