Urban development

Urban development through sports and physical activity

Urban development through sports and physical activity

"A healthy city is an active city." [4]

More and more people live in cities

  • Already today, the largest share of the world's population lives in cities [1]
  • In Europe already 73% of the population live in cities (Germany: 74%) [2]

  • 59.6 million people in Germany live in cities (including 25 million in large cities)

  • unplanned growth of cities leads to an unhealthy living environment [3]

Inactive lifestyle is responsible for most common diseases

  • Europe faces a huge inactivity problem of the population[4] [5]

  • Six of the ten most common outpatient diagnoses are associated with a lack of exercise (hypertension, lipid metabolism, back pain, diabetes, chronic heart disease, obesity) [6] [7]
  • 67% of men and 53% of women in Germany over 18 years are overweight [8]

  • Obese people cause 41% higher medical costs than people with healthy body weight [9]

Challenges for urban development

  • "A healthy, active city is one that is continually creating and improving opportunities in the built and social environment and expanding community resources to enable all its citizens to be physically active in day-to-day life." [4]
  • Urban development and urban planning are now part of primary prevention and an important contribution to the health of the population [10]
  • Sports development planning and sports venue planning are required to adequately support the sporting activities of the population
  • Development of pedestrian and bicycle paths is necessary to increase the daily physical activity of the population

Benefits for the cities  [4]

  • Savings on health care and transport infrastructure
  • More productive residents and workers
  • Higher living quality for the inhabitants
  • Greater attractiveness for visitors
  • Less air pollution, less noise pollution and better access to green areas
  • More social city

Instruments of urban development

  • Sport programs
  • City Image
  • City Tourism


[1]  Vlanhov, D., Freudenberg, N., Proietti, F., Ompad, D., Quinn, A., Nandi, V. & Lalea, S. (2007). Urban as a determinant of health. In Journal of Urban Health, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 16-26.

[2]  United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2012). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision, CD-ROM Edition.

[3]  WHO (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599979_eng.pdf, accessed 17 July 2013)

[4]  Edwards, P. & Tsouros, A.D. (2008). A healthy city is an active city: a physical activity planning guide. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.

[5]  Cavill, N., Kahlmeier, S. & Racioppi, F. (2006). Physical activity and health in Europe: evidence for action. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.

[6]  Gesundheitsberichterstattung des Bundes (2011). Häufigste Diagnosen in Prozent der Behandlungsfälle in Arztpraxen in Nordrhein. (Zugriff am 12.12.2011 unter: http://www.gbe-bund.de/oowa921-install/servlet/oowa/aw92/dboowasys921.xwdevkit/xwd_init?gbe.isgbetol/xs_start_neu/&p_aid=i&p_aid=52723638&nummer=638&p_sprache=D&p_indsp=-&p_aid=28419631).

[7]  BARMER GEK(2011). Arztreport 2011. (Zugriff am 12.12.2011 unter: http://www.barmer-gek.de/barmer/web/Portale/Presseportal/Subportal/Presseinformationen/Archiv/2011/110201-Arztreport-2011/Arztreport-2011-PDF,property=Data.pdf)

[8]  Mensink, G. B. M., Schienkiewitz, A. & Scheidt-Nave, C. (2012): Übergewicht und Adipositas in Deutschland: Werden wir immer dicker? In Kurth, B.-M. (Hrsg.): Erste Ergebnisse aus der "Studie zur Gesundheit Erwachsener in Deutschland" (DEGS), Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Springer-Verlag.

[9]  Cawley, J. & Ruhm C. J. (2011). The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors. In J. Cawley & D.S. Kenkel (Ed.) Handbook of Health Economics (pp. 95-199), vol. 2, Cambrige: Mass.

[10]  Duhl, L.J. & Sanchez, A.K. (1999). Healthy Cities and the city planning process: a background document on links between health and urban planning. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe, (http://www.euro.who.int/document/e67843.pdf, accessed 31 May 2013).

[11]  Destatis (2012). Städte nach Fläche, Bevölkerung und Bevölkerungsdichte am 31.12.2011 (Zugriff am 21.03.2014 unter: https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/LaenderRegionen/Regionales/Gemeindeverzeichnis/Administrativ/Archiv/Standardtabellen/05_StaedteVorjahr.xls?__blob=publicationFile

[12]  United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2012). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision, CD-ROM Edition.

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