Active Design Guidance Update Launches

The updated Active Design Guidance was released recently, drafted by DLA on behalf of our clients Sport England. This updated guidance continues our influential work in the field of planning and designing for health and physical activity and marks a significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with Sport England, with DLA having previously drafted the 2015 and 2007 editions. This edition is also supported by Active Travel England and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

This version of the guidance centres on the foundational principle of ‘Activity for all,’ complemented by nine supporting principles, organized into three key areas: ‘Supporting Active Travel,’ ‘Active, High-Quality Places & Spaces,’ and ‘Creating & Maintaining Activity.’ This comprehensive document showcases how effective planning and urban design can shape environments that promote physical activity, thereby positively impacting people’s health and overall well-being.

DLA’s work included two public consultations and a professional stakeholder event, which were essential in shaping the updated guidance. The key feedback from these events led to DLA creating an accessible document with principles that are easier to implement, which are supported with best practice examples and case studies. The guidance also features illustrative examples designed to show the principles in practice in areas where they are traditionally more challenging to achieve, including in rural areas.

The launch of the updated guidance was marked by a panel discussion, in which Julia Foster Managing Partner at DLA participated. Other contributor’s and panel members were; Sport England Chair Chris Boardman MBE and Head of Planning Nick Evans, TCPA Chief Executive Fiona Howie, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, Urban&Civic Group Director of Strategy & Planning James Scott and ZCD Architects Director Dina Bornat. During the event, Julia emphasized that “Active Design principles need to be deeply embedded and must be standard practice in what we do.”

DLA is proud to have played a pivotal role in the update of Active Design, and we are excited about the positive impact it will have on communities and helping us design and plan for better, more active, places.