Public health is a major concern for society, and physical activity is one of the key parts of tackling this issue.  We are all recommended to take 30 minutes physical activity per day to stay healthy, yet for many of us finding the time for this can be difficult.  So by integrating this into our daily routine – going to work, going to school, going to college or university – we could all achieve this. Read on for more about how Future City | Glasgow is promoting healthier living, from Active Travel Demonstrator Lead Mark Irwin:

One of the key issues that we have found is that there is very patchy data on how people are moving around the city, what routes they are taking and how far they travel.  This lack of information means that decisions that are made regarding active travel aren’t as smart as they could be. To tackle this, the Future City | Glasgow team are developing apps and desktop platforms, for people to use to capture and share routes around the city. This will enable people to plan active journeys that reflect their priorities, such as speed, safety and ease; allowing children, parents and schools to develop safe and sustainable approaches to the school run.

Project director Michael McLaughlan talks about his experience of this issue

So what is Glasgow doing that is innovative?  There are many apps and platforms out there that do great job of tracking and monitoring your movement, whether for health or fitness.  However these are designed for the individual. The innovation is Future City | Glasgow demonstrating that this kind of technology can be used to crowdsource data to build up a proper picture of how Glasgow moves. This will in turn demonstrate how public bodies, businesses and most importantly citizens, can work together to drive positive change in the city.

We are all part of the solution

The key part of this project, as with all the Future City | Glasgow work, is that it is open and accessible. Anyone will be able to access data and visualisations of the active travel network, and use this data at a local level to develop sustainable approaches to travel.  We would all like to see a better network for walking and cycling in the city, to be able to access live data on this and have a say on how it is developed over time. For this to become a reality, we all have a part to play.  We are all part of the solution.

Cities need to develop a new approach to engaging with citizens, and citizens need to become more active participants in how cities are run. Future City | Glasgow will demonstrate how we can make this a reality.

The initiative is also developing an innovative approach for schools looking to capture how the kids get to school.  Watch this space for further updates…

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