Center for Active Design: Resources – links to design guidelines aimed at architects, urban designers, planners, policy makers, communities, developers, and educators wishing to promote health “through the design of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods.” The original publication Active Design Guidelines has been followed with four supplements:
- Promoting Safety
- Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing
- Shaping the Sidewalk Experience
- Shaping the Sidewalk Experience: Tools and Resources
The four key concepts involved in active design are: a transportation plan that encourages cyclists, pedestrians, and transit; buildings that encourage physical movement via stairs, bicycle storage, rooftop gardens; opportunities for recreation like parks, plazas, playgrounds; and access to fresh food through space for gardens, markets, and water fountains. The Center points out that active design, in addition to promoting better health, also leads to improved environmental sustainability, universal access, and economic development.
The Center for Active Design grew out of an inter-disciplinary partnership among New York City agencies, the American Institute of Architects New York City Chapter, private sector architects and developers, and academic partners. This group collaborated to develop the Active Design Guidelines, which was published in 2010. Following the widespread success of the Guidelines, the Center was established to foster implementation of Active Design strategies among public and private sector design, planning, policy, and real estate professionals nationally and internationally. This innovative partnership has reframed the notion of urban sustainability to incorporate a social responsibility for human health and well-being.