Designing Buildings to Help People Fight Flab (and Save Energy)

Looking at the picture in Mike's Post yesterday, we are not surprised that Mazda has to pay people to walk to work- it looks like a typical suburban building surrounded by parking. Architects, owners and planners should be looking at ways to encourage people to walk rather than take the elevator or drive, through design innovation. Some are: "Buildings have long been designed so people can get from one place to another with minimum physical effort. Now, in a bid to fight a rising tide of obesity, companies, universities and other institutions are embracing the opposite idea: buildings that force employees to move around a lot more." In most buildings, stairwells are built to mandated fire code minimums and not particularly attractive. It is time that architects insisted on bright, beautiful and comfortable stairs as convenient alternatives to elevators; Its time they stopped placing buildings as isolated blocks surrounded by parking so that people can actually walk somewhere. Then people won't have to be bribed. ::Wall Street Journal