FitCity 4 Miami: Designing & Building for Health

FitCity 4: Designing & Building for Health was successfully held on February 24, 2017 at Miami-Dade College – Wolfson Campus. This year’s conference explored the opportunities for physical activity that the built environment presents in our communities. In addition, Active Design Miami: Design & Policy Strategies for Healthier Communities was officially released at the event. The day was proclaimed by Miami-Dade County as “FitCity 4 Miami Day,” as presented by Adele Valencia from the Office of Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava.

FitCity 4 brought together architects, planners, designers, public health professionals, academics, government administrators, elected officials, community leaders and residents to learn how the design of our cities — streets, buildings, and public spaces— directly impacts our community’s health and well-being. Presenters and panelists addressed how Active Design strategies and policies including design standards, infrastructure and building codes can be beneficial to overall quality-of-life.

David Piscuskas, President of the New York City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), was the Keynote Speaker and shared an architect’s view of Active Design. Other presenters included Karen Weller, Florida Department of Health; Pete Wood, Health Foundation of South Florida; Francine Madera, Naam Yoga Instructor; Katherine Roth, TLC Engineering for Architecture; Bernard Zyscovich, Zyscovich Architects; Joanna Lombard, University of Miami School of Architecture & UM Miller School of Medicine; and ADM project leads Cheryl Jacobs and Marta Viciedo.

During a workshop presentation by Suzanne Nienaber, Center for Active Design, conference participants were asked to review certain ADM strategies and chose which ones they felt were most impactful, easy to implement, or innovative. Participants identified the ADM strategies in Building Design as follows:

  • Most Impactful: 5.5 Orient building entrances and circulation pathways to prioritize active transportation options.
  • Easy to Implement: 5.9 Provide healthy vending machines and water fountains and refill stations with fresh, clean water.
  • Innovative: 5.8 Provide on-site gardening opportunities.

FitCity 4 was presented by the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of AIA in partnership with the Consortium for a Healthy Miami-Dade, Gold Coast Section of American Planning Association, USGBC South FL- Miami-Dade, Southeast Florida/Caribbean Urban Land Institute, and sponsored by MGE Architects and Whole Foods Market.

For more information on FitCity 4 or Active Design Miami, contact Marta Viciedo, ADM Project Manager at marta@urbanimpactlab.com or Miami Center for Architecture & Design (MCAD) Executive Vice President, Cheryl Jacobs at cheryl@aiamiami.org.