FitCity loves two thing, being active and exploring the world (ok maybe three, because we reallllly love Vancouver too!).
FitCity believes the best way to see a city is active and outdoors, although we will admit, some cities are easier to explore in this way than others. Below is a list of 5 amazing healthy & active cities to explore.
1. Copenhagan, Denmark - In Copenhagen, working hours are shorter than in most European countries (which in turn is definitely less than those of us here in North America). Sports activities are paid for by the government, which encourages its citizens to adopt an active lifestyle. It has replaced its driving culture with a cycling and walking culture; commuting by bicycle accounts for 36% of all work trips. As well a new law was recently introduced, requiring all residents to be able to reach a park or beach within 15 minutes of walking, (FYI- Vancouver has a goal of having all residents have access to a park or green space with a 5 min walk!)
2. Sydney, Australia - Tons of parks, year-round good weather and a government focused on building trails and green spaces to encourage the residents to be healthy and active, are some of the factors that contribute to Sydney's constant rankings on the 'Most Liveable Cities' and 'Healthiest Cities' lists. Despite being a developed city, pollution in the city is among the lowest in the world, thanks for their focus on the use of bicycles and constant planting and maintenance of the many trees around the city.
3. Hong Kong, China - This city keeps popping up on 'healthy city' lists, much to my surprise. Although the city itself is incredibly dense with a population of over 7 million people, the island is surrounded by mountains, the ocean and other islands, which make great locations for recreational activities. The proximity to the ocean insure fresh seafood is regularly available. Over 45% of trips are taken on foot and this city has a life expectancy of 82.5%, one of the highest in the world!
4. Washington D.C, USA - Currently the healthiest city in the United States (although lists fluctuate between Washington and Minneapolis), about 96% of the population is within a 10 minute walk to a park (the city spends more per resident to take care of it's parks than any other city - $346), the city has a low smoking rate, low obesity rates (less than 22% are considered obese), and at least 80% of resident exercise regularly.
5. Vancouver, BC, Canada - Of course it had to make my list. Vancouver is one of the world’s healthiest cities and boast clean ocean air, plenty of lush west-coast forests surrounding it and of course our stunning mountains. In 2011, the city adopted The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan designed to make it the most environment-friendly city in the world. You can learn more about the Greenest City plan on one of our tours ;)
Copenhagen & Hong Kong have just jumped up my 'must-see' list! What other healthy, active cities am I missing? Comment below and me know, my travel list always has room for additions.