Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety

The Center for Active Design is excited to announce that over the next year, it is partnering with various organizations to publish a series of supplements to the original Active Design Guidelines. The first in this series is titled Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety. Drawing from existing research as well as industry best-practices, this document provides design guidelines on increasing safety for individuals and venues while also promoting health and physical activity within the built environment. In total, 18 complementary urban scale and 9 building scale strategies were identified by drawing on existing studies and well-accepted best practices for maximizing safety.

Injuries are the leading causes of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, with transportation-related injuries the most common cause. Research overwhelmingly shows that many planning strategies which address the design of neighborhoods, streets, and outdoor spaces can reduce the risk of injury while also increasing walking, bicycling and access to public transit. Similarly, many building design strategies that affect where individuals live, work, and play can promote increased safety and an active lifestyle.

The alliance between the fields of architecture, urban planning, injury prevention, behavioral science, and health education represents exciting possibilities for future collaborations on the influence of design on population health. We look forward to additional joint efforts, including continued surveillance and research related to injury prevention.

Promoting Safety was developed in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Society for Public Health Education. Other agencies contributing to the document include the NYC Departments of Design and Construction, Transportation, Buildings, and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. The document also received support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention and Control.

Suggested Citation: Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Society for Public Health Education, Active Design Supplement: Promoting Safety, Version 2, 2013.

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The design strategies identified in this document are for informational purposes only. These strategies are not specific to any particular municipality, and all designs remain subject to case by case review based on established engineering standards and professional judgment, with the safety of all street users being of paramount importance. The guidance presented in this document does not supersede any existing federal, state or local laws, rules, and regulations.

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