health & active lifestyle

Label: An Active City For Healthier And Happier Citizens

Dec 11, 2019

By linking its policy-makers and agencies in areas of health, sports, education and social development around a framework of integrated initiatives, a Global Active City puts the well-being of citizens as its central goal in a city fit for the future.

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The world is suffering from an epidemic of unhealthy lifestyles. People – and especially youth – are not “moving” enough. As a result, rising levels of sedentary behaviours together with environmental, social and economic factors have resulted in increased mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Action is required at all levels.

International Policy Objectives

All major international organisations, such as the UN, WHO, ILO, UNESCO, and UN Habitat have placed sustainable health and well-being high on their global agenda. The case is solid and is supported by scientific evidence.
By investing in health and well-being, cities can realise social, environmental and economic benefits, become more competitive and improve their image, international profile and attractiveness.

The Standard

The Global Active City (GAC) Programme is a comprehensive solution enabling cities to take concrete steps towards improving the health and well-being of their population while realising broader social, environmental and economic benefits.

The GAC Label and Standard was launched at the Smart Cities and Sport Summit in Montreal, Canada, in October 2017 with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The GAC Programme is fully aligned with the agenda, guidelines and recommendations of the UN, WHO and UNESCO which aim at improving and promoting health and well-being as part of their sustainable development action plan.

The project was led with ten pilot cities in five continents and conducted by more than 70 experts and researchers in the fields of sustainability, management, health, sport, social sciences, tourism and urban development.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been a strong supporter of the GAC.

To date, a number of Olympic Cities have already benefited from implementing the GAC model and continue to implement their strategies and programmes.

An innovative solution, delivering tangible benefits to cities

  • City Governance
  • Multi-sectoral / organisational collaboration
  • Streamlining of resources
  • Integration of existing programmes/initiatives
  • Increased physical activity and sports participation
  • Improved healthy lifestyle awareness
  • Public engagement and social cohesion

How Cities can move forward

First Step – Join the network

Interested cities can join our network of Global Active Cities as partner cities and benefit from being a member of a dynamic international network of like-minded cities. Upon registration, cities will receive the Global Active City Standard and Guidelines, have access to our database of information and resources and be able to participate in knowledge exchange and networking events with other city officials. Throughout the year, there are also various opportunities to participate in field trips, workshops and other learning opportunities. Cities are also given the opportunity to use the GAC brand to develop their own Active City Brand and create an engagement and awareness platform for their events, programmes and initiatives.

Second step – Take action, Get certified and be awarded the GAC Label

We have developed a comprehensive capacity development programme to assist cities develop, advance and/or implement their active city strategy and action plan, which also serves as the foundation for meeting the requirements of the GAC Standard. Depending on the local context, we can adapt our programme to better meet the specific needs of each city.

  • 12 Cities have officially joined our network as Partner Cities (including four Olympic Cities)
  • 6 Certified Cities have been officially awarded the GAC Label
  • 70 Experts in the fields of management, health, sport, social sciences, tourism, sustainability, urban development
  • 100 Cities and governments have expressed direct interest in joining the GAC Programme

Prevention is better than cure

The AWI model adopts an inclusive approach and is based on a strong belief that prevention is better than cure. The implementation of the Global Active City (GAC) label also has a positive impact on many other areas of physical and mental health and promotes a global approach towards well-being.

Increased participation in sport and physical activity for all citizens

The GAC standard sets out tried and tested methods which, when implemented, are proven to increase participation in sport and physical activity. Irrespective of whether the individual is a top sporting champion or simply participating in recreational activity, the AWI model caters for all levels.

Increased accessibility to facilities and knowledge

Implementing the GAC standard enhances accessibility to physical activity, sport for all, sports facilities and outlines how individual support to adopt active, healthy lifestyles can be provided to every citizen.

Promoting a global standard for physical activity and well-being in the city
Happier & healthier citizens in a city that puts their well-being at the centre of its priorities. The AWI approach helps cities to engage fully with their political leaders, partner organisations, citizens and visitors.

A Smart City of the future is a great place to live

Urbanisation is happening at breath-taking speed, but at an unacceptable cost to the environment and our population. A Global Active City redesigns contemporary, sustainable urban living and provides a positive legacy for future generations.

Re-engineered, sustainable and safer urban environment

A Global Active City (GAC) encourages and enables an improved quality of life in a re-engineered, sustainable urban environment – as part of the Active Well-being Initiative model, urban planners and architects design cities and facilities with citizens’ needs in mind.

Social Inclusion

Today’s world is increasingly torn and damaged by social inequalities. The implementation of the GAC standard helps to build socially equitable, diverse, safer and cohesive communities.

Provide a positive legacy to future generations

Create the feeling in citizens that they are fully engaged and are part of being a smart city on the move! Through this feeling, citizens are far more likely to take proud ownership of their living environment.

Empowered citizenship

There is increasing conflict at community, regional, national and international levels. The AWI approach provides a grassroots pathway towards creating positive behavioural-change, resulting in well-informed and inspired citizens, social inclusion and empowered citizenship. Citizens become active together, with meaningful role-models.

A succesfull city with more money to spend successful city with more money to spend on the good things in life

A Global Active City drives inward investment, resulting in more productive workforce, budget synergies and cost savings. It drives competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. It also proves that agile policy-making in urban design, sport for all, health and social inclusion is fully compatible with economic growth and enhanced global profile.

Encouraging evidence-based practice

Evidence-based practice is key to successful strategies. The AWI model asks cities to set performance indicators to demonstrate the impact of policies and progress to city leaders, partners and the public.

Long-term planning and cross-party political support

Political support makes it possible for longer term plans to be created and established as the AWI approach has cross-party political support.

Increased international attractiveness

Cities worldwide want to increase their profile and attractiveness. The AWI model allows Partner Cities worldwide to tackle the same challenges and share their best practices.

Efficiency savings in key budget areas

The AWI approach outlines how a city can make efficiency savings in key budget areas, including sport, physical activity, health and social care through the effective use of financial and staffing resources.

A long-term legacy for sporting events

The implementation of the GAC standard enables cities to deliver a legacy of more active citizens, across all ages and profiles.

To learn more

global active cities

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