(Courtesy photo; design by Bradberry and Kheradi)
Be honest: How often do you take the elevator just a few floors to save yourself some time and effort? Have you considered what all those passive trips are cumulatively doing to your health?
The 13th annual DesignPhiladelphia series is here, and with it comes the third FitCityPHL summit from Health Promotion Council (HPC), a subsidiary of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) that works in prevention and management of chronic conditions.
The event’s focus? Active design.
For the uninitiated: Active design considers the intersection of design and health, and how the built environment (your office, your crosswalks, your community) can promote healthy activity and behavior, said HPC Managing Director Christina Miller.
And though Philadelphia has been consistently ranked the unhealthiest county in Pennsylvania, “a lot of the elements of active design are already present here in Philadelphia,” Miller said, such as its bike lanes and circuit trail system.
The built environment shapes our behavior, and while as a society we rely heavily on automobiles to get around, active design seeks to “re-engineer” physical activity back into our lives. PHMC’s headquarters at 1500 Market, for instance, contain several elements of active design, including an internal staircase, treadmill desks, natural light and no trash cans at desks to encourage employees to get moving.
The day-long FitCityPHL will feature speakers from different levels of government to discuss how their agencies and geographies (New York City, Montgomery County, Mantua) are implementing design strategies to improve health, plus talks from community organizers who have been involved in design processes.
To keep the day on-brand, there will be a lunchtime walking tour to show participants examples of active design in the city — features as simple as curb cuts, Miller said, “which help everyone get from point A to point B, whether by foot or by wheel.”
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FitCityPHL is happening next Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Center / Architecture + Design; get tickets here. DesignPhiladelphia runs through Saturday, Oct. 14.-30-
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