Inactivity is an increasing problem in Europe. About 235 million Europeans are considered to be “inactive”, meaning that they are not doing enough physical activity to keep fit and to lower the risks of, for example, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
Cities can play a major role in fighting physical inactivity, as the majority of the EU population lives in cities. They offer good opportunities to foster the uptake of the active modes of transport directly connected to physical activity – such as walking and cycling.
However, awareness of the importance of promoting active modes as a contribution to improving public health is not as good as it could be. Local decision-makers are often not aware of the problems associated with physical inactivity, whereas it is they who can change the policy framework and help a city to become an “active” city. The EU funded project PACTE – Promoting Active Cities Throughout Europe – is taking up the challenge to transform inactive cities into active ones.
PACTE focuses on analysing the current situation in relation to physical activity in Europe, with active transportation being one of the areas that it is investigating. It aims to bring good practice examples and pathways to European cities in the relation to the built infrastructure and policies that can support an active lifestyle. Cities across Europe are recognising the benefits of walking and cycling, which creates many good practice examples and increases of the modal share of the active transport mode.
Now, PACTE has developed a survey directed to cities to investigate how cities deal with physical activity and inactivity. The aim of the survey is to create a measuring tool to assess local physical activity levels. The survey is directed at all kind of cities, regardless of their size. Findings from the survey and the products based on the data collected will form freely accessible resources for cities to improve their physical activity levels.
PACTE gives further good reasons to cities to take part on the survey. Cities benefit from:
- Full access to results of the projects that can act as a continuous improvement scheme for cities including measures and examples
- Support to evaluate themselves on how active the city actually is
- Benchmarking with other cities across Europe on physical activity levels
- Getting access to a quality network of partners that can help you stimulate and promote physical activity in your city
Cities are cordially invited to start tackling physical inactivity by taking the survey, which will only taking a few minutes of their time.
You can find the survey here.
Photo: © Shutterstock
Story first published by ECF on 18th of April 2018.