The NUDGE Project Neighbourhood Urban Design to Gain Exercise!Report as inadecuate

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active living, physical activity, urban design

Additional contributors:

Subject-Keyword: active living physical activity urban design

Type of item: Research Material

Language: English




Date created: 2005-03

DOI: doi:10.7939-R31R6N237

License information: Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 3.0 Unported


Author: Alberta Centre for Active Living



12, No.
1, March 2005 The NUDGE Project (Neighbourhood Urban Design to Gain Exercise!) As suburbs grow so do waistlines.
Neighbourhoods that discriminate against walking promote the national obesity epidemic.
This is particularly true of post-war suburbs, an urban form not designed for walking. Active living means building physical activity into daily life, decreasing the need to set aside dedicated time to “exercise” (CFLRI, 2000).
Although walking is a simple activity, urban pedestrians, particularly in their own neighbourhoods, require an environment that supports walking and protects against walkers’ vulnerability to external factors, such as weather, pollution, and traffic. THE ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY The relationship between the physical environment and physical activity is complex.
As it is generally agreed that the environment influences public health, it is important to advocate for better public infrastructure for walking, cycling, and other physical activities. There is also a growing consensus that walkable neighbourhoods are more livable communities with higher measures of sustainability (natural and economic), social interaction, and equity.
Walkability is now an objective in many innovative urban designs (Bentley, Alcock, Murrain, McGlyn, & Smith, 1985; Calthorpe 1993; Katz 1994).
As Calthorpe (1993) put it, “pedestrians are the lost measure of a community—they set the scale for both the centre and edge of our neighbourhoods.” ORIGINS OF THE NUDGE PROJECT University of Calgary researchers believe that they can capitalize on the public interest in obesity through collaborative research to focus attention on individual behaviour and environmental design and on the relationships between behaviour and design (Lau, 1999).
The NUDGE project is intended as a gateway into collaborative work involving community interventions for increased physical activity. Previous research at the University of Calgary has analysed the ways in wh...

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