Active Design

The design of where we live and work plays a vital role in keeping us active

Modern day living can make us inactive, and very few of us ever manage the recommended amount of weekly exercise.

We know sport isn’t for everyone but more activity can improve health, increase wellbeing and build stronger communities.

Watch our film below and read our case studies to find out about Active Design.

Encouraging activity in everyday lives

Active Design is about designing and adapting where we live to encourage activity in our everyday lives.

It’s a combination of 10 principles that promote activity, health and stronger communities through the way we design and build our towns and cities.

That's why we, in partnership with Public Health England, have produced the Active Design Guidance.

This guidance builds on the original objectives of improving accessibility, enhancing amenity and increasing awareness, and sets out the 10 principles of Active Design.  

Download our Active Design guide

10 principles

Our 10 principles have been developed to inspire and inform the layout of cities, towns, villages, neighbourhoods, buildings, streets and open spaces, to promote sport and active lifestyles.

The guide features an innovative set of guidelines to get more people moving through better design and layout.

Watch the film below to learn more about the 10 principles.

Case studies

We have also produced three case studies that detail real-life examples of the 10 principles in action. These new case studies complement the examples found in the Active Design Guide.

Download case studies below:

These case studies are designed to encourage planners, urban designers, developers and health professionals to create the right environment to help people get more active, more often. 

The Active Design principles are aimed at contributing towards the Government's desire for the planning system to promote healthy communities through good urban design. 

Active Design has been produced in partnership with David Lock Associates, specialists in town planning and urban design. 

Designing for Physical Activity

Creating more opportunities to be physically active means thinking about many prompts and cues that enable positive changes in our behaviour.

An active environment is one which responds to community needs and aspirations and provides the conditions and opportunities for people to be more active in our everyday lives.

Active environments require a more coordinated and holistic approach to the design and operation of our surroundings from streets, neighbourhoods and public open spaces to the policies, standards and planning of the infrastructure of where we live and work.

As such, we have created a suite of guidance documents to help incorporate physical activity into your design.

They show a range of facility interventions that can encourage people to engage in physical activities. From simple low cost alterations and adaptions to the local landscape, to re-use of facilities that are under used, to more ambitions new build projects.