- Integrated Urban Development
The project seeks answers on how to combat social exclusion through the redesign of public spaces in deprived residential areas by using the power and common language of sport through innovative urban sport actions, physical equipment and better orchestrated service delivery.
Active living positively contributes to social cohesion, wellbeing and economic prosperity in cities. However, currently cities are challenged by the opposite: dramatic increase in the frequency of diseases as a result of sedentary life style and social exclusion.
To tackle these challenges, European cities have invested in large scale sports facilities over the past decades. These strategies have a limited success, hence a new approach is needed: instead of ‘bringing’ the inactive citizens to the sports facilities, public space itself should be turned into a low threshold facility inviting all citizens to physical activity. Street layout, land use, location of recreation facilities, parks and public buildings, the transport system can all encourage or discourage physical activity. Opportunities for physical activity need to be created close to where people live while also creating cleaner, safer, greener and more activity-friendly local environments.
In order to reach this, cities need to be equipped with new innovative tools to be used in urban design and planning (to redesign public spaces linked to sport activities, urban sports, games, physical exercises) to adequately provide for recreation and sport services and exploit potential social, health and economic benefits.
Efforts to enable and encourage sports require the participation and cooperation of many stakeholders, including local residents themselves and the creation of synergies among municipal departments or institutions. Moreover, municipalities need to be equipped with a new set of tools to be used in urban design and planning to adequately provide for recreation and sport services and exploit the potential social, health and economic benefits.