An ambitious strategy to improve the physical activity levels and healthy eating habits of millions of urban residents will be showcased during the Youth Olympic Games. More than 50 internationally and nationally renowned experts in sports, health, nutrition and well-being will share their knowledge at the two-day active city summit in Buenos Aires in October.
For three years the city has been working hard to improve existing projects and kick start new ones in order to turn public spaces into healthy environments, and encourage and enable local people to achieve recommended minimum levels of exercise and better nutrition. The programme, Ciudad Activa, is the city’s Youth Olympic Games legacy for citizens.
During the games from from 6 to 18 October, Buenos Aires is hoping to be certified as one of the world’s first Global Active Cities, by new NGO the Active Well-being Initiative. Vice mayor Diego Santilli said: “Our vision is that each resident in every corner of Buenos Aires has the opportunity to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle. Our objectives are to: fight against obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases; ensure that residents take part in physical activities and sports, regardless of their ages, physical conditions and socio-economic situations; improve eating habits; and make the public space a healthy environment. Cities that have healthy and energetic people focus on the sustainable development of their communities and create new possibilities to have better lives.”
The city has set ambitious targets for 2022 and 2026, including dramatically increasing the numbers of adults and adolescents who do recommended levels of physical activity, and reducing the number of overweight and obese children. It also aims to give four out of five people easy access to active public spaces.
The Active Well-being Initiative has worked closely with the city to advise how to tackle physical inactivity in a strategic manner. One of the principles of the Global Active City approach is that cities are advised to work closely with local universities to identify their baselines, set key performance indicators and update their studies. The City of Buenos Aires has carried out and published work with Universidad Católica Argentina, and the city and national governments have their own statistics and research departments, which have helped to set a list of KPIs to track the progress of the Global Active City work.
The Ciudad Activa Summit will take place from 9 to 10 October at the Usina del Arte. It is open to sports and health professionals, international organisations, sports federations, NGOs, socially-conscious businesses, urban planners, public officials, researchers, students and residents. Sessions will be presented in different formats, such as academic lectures, workshops, movement activities, good practices, and case studies. The multi-disciplinary event will be structured in nine topics that will address well-being from a comprehensive perspective: medicine; culture; social inclusion; motivational talks; physical activities; innovation and technology; exhibitions; and Global Active Cities. Places are free of charge, however delegates must organise and fund their own travel and accommodation. To register, visit the Ciudad Activa website or email the Ciudad Activa Summit organisers.