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Active cities for economic success

delegates at the Active Cities Summit discuss promoting physical activity to enjoy economic benefit

Delegates at the Active Cities Summit discuss promoting physical activity to enjoy economic benefit

Tim Stonor, from Space Syntax, explains links between urban resilience and geometry

Tim Stonor, from Space Syntax, explains links between urban resilience and geometry

Sustainable, active, fun lifestyle choices for residents are important for the success of active cities

Sustainable, active, fun lifestyle choices for residents are important for the success of active cities

active cities help local economies thrive

Active cities help local economies thrive

There is a growing awareness that a health-enhancing environment is a natural condition for economic performance.  This is why Sustrans worked with Nike, Bristol Green Capital and Active Living Research on the Active Cities Summit, held in Bristol on 9 June 2015. 

The Active Cities Summit is a part of a global campaign, waged by physical activity and public health organisations around the world, to make clear the gains which can be made, through creating activity-friendly cities, in human, economic, social and environmental capital.

We're very proud to have coordinated the Summit as part of our work on active travel, economic development and health. Find out more about who we work with and what we do.

Get involved in the conversation at #ActiveCities.

Presentations from the summit

Tim Stonor

Francesca Racioppi

Chad Spoon

Claire Craig


In the area of physical activity, a critical issue for public health, it is clear that creating the conditions for people to be sufficiently active would not just save tens of thousands of premature deaths a year, but would also improve competitiveness and bring economic success. 

Active Living Research, a respected US evidence centre on physical activity, has carried out an intensive review of available evidence on all the benefits of activity-friendly environments.  Their study shows the competitive economic advantages accruing to cities that encourage physically active lifestyles. The research was launched at the Active Cities Summit and made widely available, to help national and local decision makers develop the best possible policies and strategies.

Alongside increased productivity, school performance, property values, and health and wellbeing, the report highlights that physically active populations make cities more economically competitive.  

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Active cities resources, by Designed to move:

active cities exeuctive summary Active cities guide for city leaders active cities infographic

Check out more related resources on the Designed to move resource library.

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