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What we do at the Active Towns Initiative

  • Explore, document and profile the people, places and programs that promote and sustain a healthy, Culture of Activity
  • Produce entertaining and educational multi-media content, which strives to increase awareness, inspire engagement and provide viable solutions for communities wishing to create a Culture of Activity for everyone; all ages and abilities

Some Background

In an effort to provide a little context, here are a few facts about physical activity in the United States as summarized from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Physical activity can improve health. We know that people who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
  • Physical activity can also help with weight control, and may improve academic achievement in students.
  • We also know that being physical active helps us manage stress while improving our mood and sense of wellbeing


  • Only about 1 in 5 adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines
  • Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day
  • When our physicians say “you need to start getting in more activity, maybe try walking more”, we wonder… “well, where and how?”

Health & The Built Environment

Part of the challenge is that much of our natural movement and functional/utilitarian exertion has been systematically programmed out of our lives through a persistent pursuit for convenience and ease, not to mention through the policy driven designs of our communities over the past 80 years, which reinforce sedentary living.

But, alas there is some good news. Nearly every city in the nation now knows that they need to enhance their quality of life standards by creating a built environment that is more conducive to a healthy, active lifestyle and helps to lesson our dependence on single occupancy vehicles. It’s also apparent that these cities may not know quite how to go about getting it done, but that’s where we come in.

strolling along pacific beach

Photo: An early evening stroll along the coast ~ Pacific Beach, CA

The Emergence of Active Towns

A handful of cities have actually achieved an established Active Towns status, while others are quickly emerging.

These places are noted for being highly desirable Places featuring Inviting, Invigorating and Inclusive environments that promote and support a strong Culture of Activity and other community members and leaders can learn from these success stories.


To learn more, follow along, get involved or make a donation please select from the appropriate page links on this site

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