Proactive city. the city as a gym for active design
The ageing of European urban population, the increase of social and economic inequalities, and the growing demand for supply and maintenance of public spaces and welfare equipment foster deeper reflection on the material conditions supporting citizens’ health and mobility in the cities. Taking “accessibility for all” as a right of citizenship becomes essential: the usability of urban environments plays a fundamental role in increasing a person’s ability to actively contribute to her/his own well-being. This perspective offers the opportunity to reinterpret accessibility as a crucial component of people-centred and inclusive urban design policies and tools. The on-going research PROACTIVE CITY outlines strategies and solutions on these issues. Going beyond the simple removal or mitigation of the impacts of physical barriers, the study focuses on the interpretation of cities as “gyms”: places where the choices related to the configuration of public spaces and the location of services are part of strategies aimed at reactivating people’s ability to move independently, to perform healthy practices, and to interact.