Towards more physical activity: Transforming public spaces to promote physical activity — a key contributor to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Europe (2017)

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This publication focuses on physical activity and how it can be supported through urban planning. The focus on physical activity is explained by the fact that inactivity today accounts for an increasing proportion of deaths and disability worldwide and is associated with significant health care costs and productivity losses.

Action to increase rates of physical activity will be necessary to achieve global targets on the prevention of premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases – the leading cause of death worldwide – and to halt the rise in obesity. With more than 80% of the European population expected to live in urban areas by 2030, cities play a pivotal role in promoting and protecting health and well-being.

As cities continue to expand in population, there is a growing need to develop ways of supporting physical activity in dense urban settings.