Active Design Guidelines (2010, City of New York)

Simply active design is environmental design that encourages stair climbing, bicycling, healthy eating, active recreation and walking. Today, physical activity and unhealthy diets are second only to tobacco which are the main causes of premature death in the United States. Researches suggests that evidence-based architectural and urban design strategies can increase regular physical activity and healthy eating.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

For example, “In New York in 1940 successfully controlled infectious diseases like cholera and tuberculosis by environmental design strategies in combination with societal changes. It is before the discovery of all antibiotics and other modern medical technologies.

Mixed use

According to the researches greater land use mix is correlating with lower obesity. They are showing that more grocery stores, newsstands, schools, and other useful destinations in an area increase the level of walking of residents.

Facilitate for cyclists

Researches shows that providing more facilities to the cyclists like bicycling for transportation and recreation by incorporating infrastructure like safe indoor and outdoor for parking bicycles will increase the level of activities. It includes the providing showers and locker facilities to the area.

Access to fresh food

Researches shows that the presence of full-service grocery stores in a neighborhood can increase the healthier diets and lower weight among residents. They are saying “Urban planners and designers can assist with increasing access to healthy foods through the provision and placement of food markets.” It is recommended farmers’ markets will compliment grocery stores.” 

Pedestrian pathways

They are saying that giving more outdoor spaces or pathways with seating, drinking, resting rooms and other infrastructure that support to increase the frequency and duration of walking.

Reducing Parking slots

They are saying that lot of parking supply may result in reducing active transportation and public transit use. So there need to be have way of reducing parking slots in urban areas to increase the active transportation and public transit use.

Properly designed building programming systems

There need to have properly organized functions for community and recreational spaces, management offices, mailrooms with a pleasant walking distance from individual residences and building entrances. This is for encourage daily routines of walking and stair climbing. There need to have spaces and activities to encourage more personal communication between people within in buildings than electronic communication. It is important to provide spaces where people can stay together with engaging productive, pleasant and safe social interaction.

Appealing and supportive internal walking routes and views

It is important to provide interesting views along paths within the building like natural or designed landscapes, fascinating interior views and visually appealing interior finishes. Properly organized people-oriented activities also very important inside the building. Proper day lighting system also very effective along the paths of travel.

Building facilities that support exercise

Provide spaces like exercise rooms, play areas, multi-purpose recreational areas to improve physical activities more important. This includes to public, workplace, and residential buildings categories. Because research indicates that views to nature and human activities will improve exercise appealing.

We can locate those spaces in centrally visible locations in the building because it helps to increase awareness and use of these spaces.

Usage of stairs

There need to have properly designed staircases to encourage for usage like designing visible, motivational signage, conveniently located for everyday use. Researchers found that usage of stairs may increase cardiovascular health, burn calories, raise individuals’ good cholesterol levels.

Active Design Guidelines for stairs

·       Include grand staircases in to the entrance of the building open interconnecting stairs as possible to the buildings.

·       Locate staircases near the entrance of the buildings before elevators are reached

·       Locate stairs along main paths like near atriums, elevators, waiting areas. If they are more visible to the people, it is more effective.

·       Design sensible stair environments with Highlight interesting views like nature or indoor gathering areas, appealing bright colors to the surfaces, gain more natural ventilation to improve indoor air quality, provide pleasant auditory distractions.

·       Stairs need to have less barriers specially in the public parts of the building.

• Stairs need wider for walk like in in groups and in two directions. 

·       It is important have stairs which are easily maintain, safe, interesting and with well light.  

·       The signage for stairs need to be highly visual to the peoples’.                                                  

·       Take actions to focus on elevators than stairs like limit the number of elevators, less visible than the stairs, stop elevators, slow them down where possible.

·       In high-rise buildings can use stairs to travel between adjacent floors. So lifts can primarily use for vertical travel between four or more floor levels.


Precedence studies

The Bikuben Student Residence






Copenhagen Aart Architects(2003-2006 )

 Student housing: 107 student residences.

 7000sqm total floor area

from ground level to roof level the whole building is accessible to students, expanding students living quarters and increasing their potential areas for social interactions.

The atrium is a complex space whose boundaries are shared by common rooms, terraces linked to the exterior ‘double spiral’ circulation, and a vertical circulation core.  It is designed for students to interact within or to view activities across.

The complexity of the circuit of circulation and common spaces is expressed in the building via the cut-out terraces that wrap around the four sides of the building. These areas are further accentuated by the bright orange colour of the vertical circulation, with the remainder of the facade treated in a checkerboard pattern of light and dark grey, a gesture that seems to hide the windows.

The Bikuben Student Residence is a residential complex which is important to this project with having circulation routes, design features to encourage social interaction and movement through the building. All the circulation routes in the building linked to a central atrium in which activities occur in and can be viewed from nearby spaces.

The design gave the greatest possible contact between common and private rooms while giving the privacy of each residence. The common rooms and residences are connected in a double spiral surrounding an atrium. External circulation route is continuous from ground level to roof level. So whole building is accessible to students, expanding students living areas and increasing their community areas for social interactions.


I'm James!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out