Thursday, July 25, 2013

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Promotes Stairs

Bloomberg Promotes Stairs in NYC Buildings
New York Times Staircase- Source
New York, NY- Mayor Bloomberg has publicly supported green initiatives during his time in office, from planting half a million trees to banning super-sized sodas to encouraging transparency for public buildings' energy usage. Recently, Bloomberg has proposed the Center for Active Design, which promotes buildings where inhabitants can lead healthier and more active lives.

New York buildings stand tall and often do not have accessible staircases. These staircases are often hidden at the ends of corridors, connected to fire alarms, or simply locked. Often, employees and residents must have access cards, allowing them onto specific floors. Many staircases often have warning signs on them, confusing and discouraging people from using them. Studies show that taking the stairs for just 2 minutes a day can help prevent weight gain, so Bloomberg is now promoting building designs with accessible staircases.

He is mandating that all buildings have at least one accessible stairway and signs near the elevators showing the stairway as an alternative option. The legislation Bloomberg is proposing also includes the creation of the Center for Active Design.

The Center for Active Design has four main goals:
  • Active Transportation - safe, wide sidewalks; lighting and benches; street trees and plants; interconnected bikeways; ample bicycle parking; comfortable, safe bus stops
  • Active Buildings - accessible, well-lit stairs; on-site exercise facilities; access to indoor and outdoor walking trails; nearby, accessible public transit; kitchens and casual spaces to promote healthy eating
  • Active Recreation - parks, plazas, and playgrounds accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists; natural elements and landscapes; safe play environments for children
  • Food Access - space for full-service grocery stores; space for farmers' markets; rooftop gardens and greenhouses; visible water fountains with faucets
"New York City has been a leader when it comes to promoting healthier eating and now we’re leading when it comes to encouraging physical activity as well," stated Bloomberg. 

The goal for Mayor Bloomberg is to create a welcoming environment that encourages New York City residents to use stairs, eat healthy, and stay active. By making stairs more user-friendly and accessible, Mayor Bloomberg hopes to promote healthier lives while simultaneously decreasing New York's carbon footprint.