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Lausanne is part of new international Global Active City programme

Cities all over the world are invited to take part in the Global Active City programme, a new initiative to promote health and physical activity. Already in place in 10 pilot cities, including Lausanne, this programme has proved successful in significantly improving the health of these cities’ inhabitants and increasing their participation in sport and physical activity.

The programme was officially launched last week during the Smart Cities and Sport Summit, held in Montreal (Canada).  Organised by the Active Well-being Initiative (AWI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Switzerland created as a partnership between TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All) and Evaleo, an NGO specialising in development and the promotion of well-being and sustainable health, the new initiative is also officially supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The Global Active City scheme includes standards, supporting tools and training modules to enable cities and their leaders to take concrete steps towards the enhancing well-being of their population. In due course, cities can obtain the Global Active City label to illustrate the quality and effectiveness of their projects in this area.

While all cities have their own structure and culture, they often face the same challenges: growing urbanisation, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and social inequality. The programme thus takes a systemic, flexible and evolutive approach, and provides tools that can be adapted to the local context in terms of size, environment and objectives.

The city of Liverpool (Great Britain) was the first to put in place its own “Active City” model back in 2005 and can already report positive results. When the programme was launched, fewer than one person in five exercised for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Twelve years later, that figure is now one adult in two. Liverpool’s next target is to become the most active city in England by 2021 and use its experience to help other cities.

As well as Lausanne and Liverpool, eight other cities around the world were part of the pilot programme: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Gaborone (Botswana), Karşiyaka (Turkey), Lillehammer (Norway), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Richmond (Canada) and Tampere (Finland).

The programme, which is aligned with the recommendations and guidelines of the WHO, UNESCO, UN Habitat and other international organisations, has now been rolled out all over the world, with all cities invited to join this initiative to become a Global Active City.

Read here the full IOC story on the topic.

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