New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg escalated his fight against obesity Wednesday when he encouraged New Yorkers to skip the elevator and take the stairs.
According to the New York Observer, the NYC mayor — whose stand against large sugary sodas has earned him the nickname “Nanny Bloomberg” — is now mandating that NYC architects design buildings promoting increased activity levels.
At a press conference at The New School in NYC, Bloomberg announced his executive order “requiring all City agencies to use active design strategies when performing all new construction and major renovation projects.”
“Exercise is good for you,” Bloomberg told New Yorkers.
Additionally, the mayor plans to send the city council two pieces of legislation promoting stair use. One proposed bill “requires that building owners give occupants access to at least one, clearly identified stairway in the building; and post signs that prompt stair use near elevators.”
The second proposal would enforce increased “access to and the visibility of stairways by permitting the use of hold-open devices in the doors of one stairway per building, for a maximum of three consecutive floors.”
The nonprofit organization Center for Active Design, which is partially funded by the city, will take on the task of “finding ways to design healthier buildings, promote public transit and create more inviting outdoor spaces for activity.”
In a press release, Design Commissioner David Burney told the crowd that architects must play a role in fighting the obesity epidemic.
“The active design movement asks design professionals to be part of the solution and find new ways to encourage movement, both in buildings and on the streets,” his statement said.
Bloomberg told NYC residents that he plans to make fitness more socially acceptable.
“What we’ve got to do is just make it cool — if you will — or socially more the norm to exercise, and that’s what you see here,” he said.
The mayor told the crowd that he almost never takes the elevator and does not stand still when using the escalator.
Over his three terms, Bloomberg also passed a ban on outdoor smoking, supported a one-cent tax on sodas, campaigned against school bake sales and created a program discouraging salt consumption.
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