Active design is a planning approach to creating streets and buildings that support and promote the physical health and well-being of residents. Bringing active design to planning projects and neighborhoods encourages more active lifestyles – such as walking, bicycling, stair climbing – that ultimately help improve the health of neighborhoods and residents.
The 2010 award-winning Active Design Guidelines provides architects and urban designers with a manual of strategies for creating healthier buildings, streets, and urban spaces, based on the latest academic research and best practices in the field.
Environmental Design and Health: Past and Present
Urban design strategies for creating neighborhoods, streets, and outdoor spaces that encourage walking, bicycling, and active transportation and recreation.
View the Urban Design Checklist.
Building design strategies for promoting physical activity where we work, live and play—for example, through the placement and design of stairs.
View the Building Design Checklist.
Discussion of synergies between active design and sustainable design through standards and initiatives such as LEED, PlaNYC and OneNYC.
The Active Design Guidelines were developed through a partnership of the New York City Departments of Design and Construction, Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation, and City Planning, and the Office of Management and Budget, working with leading architectural and planning academics, and with help from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter. Other City agencies that have contributed to the Guidelines include the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Department of Buildings, Department of Parks and Recreation, School Construction Authority, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Department for the Aging.
The Department of City Planning has been a co-recipient of multiple awards for the Active Design Guidelines:
Four Active Design Supplements build on the success of the Guidelines: