Washington, D.C., May 26, 2009 — Nancy Somerville, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), issued the following statement on the American Academy of Pediatrics new policy on using the built environment to fight childhood obesity:
“The American Society of Landscape Architects applauds the addition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to the growing chorus of advocates recognizing the connections between human health and the design of our built world. Outdoor spaces that encourage physical activity, increase human interaction and offer beautiful, secure environments increase our physical and mental health.
“Landscape architects join the AAP in urging our governments at every level to institute laws, policies and practices that promote active living through environmental design. In particular, Complete Streets legislation – currently being adopted across the country and making its way through Congress – is critical to providing opportunities that incorporate walking and biking into daily activities. Recognition of the relationship between community design and public health by such an esteemed medical organization confirms the need for comprehensive public policy to create a more healthy and sustainable world.”