Success stories from the NYC Health Department Community Workshops

As part of the development process of the Active Design Guide for Community Groups, the New York City Health Department held workshops to engage the community in Active Design and healthy living. Several of the ideas generated at the workshops have been successfully implemented into various projects and programs.

An example of successful implementation occurred at a local school in New York City. After attending a workshop, students at Innovation High School in East Harlem were asked to evaluate the opportunities that their school and neighborhood could offer to promote active living and healthy eating. After studying the active design strategies, the students began work on their first intervention: the stairs! Before their intervention, the stairs in the school were dark and unwelcoming to the overall student body. So the students worked on two murals to make the stairwells more comforting and encouraging of healthy living. The first mural uses Keith Haring inspired figures to show people in movement and includes a quote developed by the students, “Keep Chasing Your Dreams… There is no Finish Line.” The second mural has a figure carrying a pile of books on his back and tells students to work hard, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Students were excited to be a part of a solution, which is sure to encourage more movement throughout the day!

Another success story that came out of an Active Design workshop occurred with students in Staten Island. Students in the Global Kids Program at Curtis High School worked with local artists to transform a busy but drab bus shelter with a mural. The transformation has improved the commuter and pedestrian experience for many in the St. George area of Staten Island. This project was realized with the support of NYC’s Departments of Parks and Recreation and Transportation.

Communities looking to integrate Active Design within its neighborhoods and engage community members and groups in healthy living initiatives can learn from the process that has been set forth in New York City. To learn more contact us!

  • User Side Images Image 233
    Local artist, Gano Grills, Parks Department representative, and community members officially open a new bus shelter; Photo Credit: Jody Stoll.
  • User Side Images Image 234
    Students in Staten Island transform a bus shelter to promote healthy living; Photo Credit: Jody Stoll.