Cycling Summit Highlights How Active Community Design Fights Chronic Disease

Written by admin, October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013 – Sell Out Crowds For All Summit Events

Sell out crowds and representatives from every local municipality were on hand to learn about the substantial public health and economic benefits that result from active community design during the 2013 Peterborough and the Kawarthas Cycling Summit that took place today.

“Being physically active helps prevent more than 25 chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health with Peterborough Public Health who emceed the event. “An increase in physical activity can save millions in health care spending.  That’s why we need more sidewalks, trails and cycling infrastructure because these provide a free and accessible means of recreation and transportation for all.”

Keynote speaker Dr. Karen Lee, public health expert from New York City, discussed how that city developed its Active Design Guidelines to support the development of compact and mixed-use communities that encourage active forms of transportation. Dr. Lee explained that the guidelines are currently being implemented through a number of programs and policies including reallocating road right-of-ways for cyclists, pedestrians and transit vehicles, and expanding public space in under-served communities. These changes have seen a nearly 300% increase in commuter cyclists, a reversal in childhood obesity trends in NYC, and significant declines in traffic fatalities.

Summit workshops and presentations also featured other impressive examples of active community design from Haliburton, Niagara Region, Simcoe-Muskoka, and Selwyn Township. Peterborough’s latest improvements to promote active living, including the revitalized cycling bridge near the Holiday Inn, were also highlighted through a walking tour led by City Hall officials.

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For further information, please contact:

Janet Dawson, Health Promoter
(705) 743-1000, ext. 392