Web Forum

Designing for Affordable and Active Housing
Wednesday April 24, 2013 | 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific

The places where we live, work, and play have a big impact on our health. When such places are designed to promote physical activity, they can help prevent or alleviate obesity and other health problems. This is especially important in lower-income communities, where people are at the greatest risk for obesity and obesity-related diseases, and where studies show opportunities supporting active living for adults and children may be less prevalent. This Web Forum will discuss the Active Design Guidelines (ADG), a set of evidence-based and best-practice urban and building design strategies that emerged from a multi-sector partnership co-led by the New York City Health Department. The ADG provides strategies for creating neighborhoods, streets, and outdoor and indoor spaces that encourage walking, bicycling, active transportation and recreation, and active movement like stair use in buildings. Presenters will focus on how funders and developers of affordable housing can apply the guidelines using low-cost and cost-neutral strategies identified through a recent ALR-funded study Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. Speakers, including co-authors, will discuss implementation issues identified in the study, as well as implementation opportunities such as trainings for design, planning, and real estate professionals, and integration of ADG strategies into housing development RFPs and standards. The ADG can be downloaded currently at www.nyc.gov/adg. And the ADG supplement, Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing, is available for download here: http://centerforactivedesign.org/affordablehousingcosts.






    Dr. Karen Lee
    Senior Advisor
    Built Environment and Healthy Housing Program
    NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    New York, NY

    Karen K. Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPCKaren K. Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, is Senior Advisor to the Built Environment & Healthy Housing Program at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Lee has been the lead for the NYC Health Dept. in its work with 12 city agencies including the NYC Departments of Design & Construction, City Planning, Transportation, and Housing Preservation and Development, and non-government partners, in the development of the award-winning Active Design Guidelines, published in January 2010. Since the publication of the Guidelines, Dr. Lee’s team has developed trainings on Active Design, and has worked with city agencies and private sector partners on developing and implementing Active Design policies and practices in NYC and 15 other U.S. cities.

    Dr. Gayle Nicoll
    Dean of the Faculty of Design
    Ontario College of Art and Design University
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Dr. Gayle NicollDr. Gayle Nicoll, Dean of the Faculty of Design, an architect, and environmental researcher has focused her teaching and research on human behaviour related to spatial typologies, building features and technology, human behavior and design practices related to healthy environments. Her research examining the physical environmental features that promote physically active lifestyles has provided an important foundation for building and urban design initiatives that promote health and combat chronic disease related to sedentary lifestyles and obesity, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and colon cancer. Dr. Nicoll is a co-author of the Active Design Guidelines (ADG) which has over 15,000 copies distributed in 80 countries and has been recognized with multiple awards. (http://www.ocadu.ca/)

    Brian Prater
    Senior Vice President
    Strategic Development and Corporate Affairs
    Low Income Investment Fund
    San Francisco, CA

    Brian PraterBrian Prater is the Senior Vice President for Strategic Development & Corporate Affairs at the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). LIIF is a national Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in San Francisco. LIIF is one of the largest affordable housing, education and childcare facility lenders in the country, and is a five-time recipient of New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) awards. Prater oversees LIIF’s federal policy shop, national fundraising, communications, knowledge sharing, transit-oriented development (TOD) and innovation functions. Prater has Master’s degrees from Columbia University (School of International and Public Affairs) and Syracuse University (S. I. Newhouse School), and a Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University. (http://www.liifund.org/)

    Shampa Chanda
    Director of Preservation Planning and Disposition
    Division of Planning, Marketing and Sustainability
    NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
    New York City

    Shampa ChandaShampa Chanda is currently Director of Preservation Planning and Disposition at NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She manages disposition of select HPD sites, enhances HPD’s preservation programs, incorporates active design elements in select HPD projects, and consults on zoning-related initiatives. In addition to her role at HPD, she is currently leading reviews of several development projects in different NYC boroughs for the NYC Department of City Planning. She has over 20 years of experience in planning having served in various management capacities at the HPD. (www.nyc.gov/hpd)


    Deborah Lou, PhD
    Program Analyst
    Active Living Research
    A National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    University of California, San Diego

    Deborah Lou, PhDDebbie Lou is the program analyst with Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Debbie engages advocacy, policy, and community groups to develop opportunities for research translation and dissemination, especially to ensure the research meets the needs of communities at highest risk for childhood obesity. She is co-author of a research synthesis with Dr. Wendell Taylor titled “Do All Children Have Places to be Active?” This synthesis reviews evidence showing that lower-income people and racial and ethnic minorities often live in communities that discourage active living. (www.activelivingresearch.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Lee/Housing Design Today as a Key Solution To Health Epidemics and Disparities

Nicoll/Active Design Guidelines


Chanda/Create Sustainable + Healthy Neighborhoods

Prater/Designing Healthy Communities



The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Active Design Guidelines:: New York City Department of Design and Construction
Active Design Supplement: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing:: New York City Department of Design and Construction


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo http://www.activelivingresearch.org/

Public Health Institute

Active Living Research