Leisure Management 2015 edition

Page 60


power TO THE people

The opportunities to be active on our streets are dwindling because of the priority given to cars above pedestrians. Riccardo Marini, director at urban quality consultants Gehl Architects, is one architect working to reverse this trend. Kath Hudson reports

What’s your approach to architecture? Architecture should be about people before buildings. Offer the right lifestyle choices and you’ll get the right health outcomes: if places are designed with people in mind, people will be healthier. The problem is, the bureaucratic systems we’ve created in the name of efficiency have destroyed the kind of places that bring joy to our hearts. We’re using technology to make everything as efficient as possible, whereas the path to health, happiness, wealth and wellbeing is one that puts people, culture and art central to the planning process. The way cities are designed today is also contributing to an increasingly sed60

Health clubs have to be careful they don’t offer a big shiny box that people can only drive to. They need to find ways of encouraging people to visit in an active way

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entary lifestyle among the public. We’re making it more difficult to navigate cities by foot and bike, and our consequent reliance on cars and technology takes away the everyday opportunities for exercise, such as going to the shops for groceries.

How can architecture and design help people to be active? Copenhagen is a great example of this. People living in Copenhagen think it’s natural to cycle to work, school or the pub, whether it’s sunny, raining or minus 4 degrees centigrade. Research has shown this is because it’s considered the easiest and most efficient mode of transport. Cycling is integrated with other forms of transport: you can take bikes onto trains and ISSUE 1 2015 © cybertrek 2015

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