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Title:Remodeling urban fitness trails to engaging and healthy public spaces for all
Author(s):Li, Haoyang
Advisor(s):Sullivan, William C.
Contributor(s):Zhu, Weimo; Emmerling-DiNovo, Carol
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Urban fitness trail
Health benefit
Abstract:Unprecedented urban development has happened to China in the past several decades, generating countless skyscrapers and a much more compacted living environment for a majority of its people. During the same period, lifestyles changed accordingly. Physical inactivity, once an exotic term to most Chinese people, became one of the leading risk factors for mortality. To encourage more physical activities as a means to improve public health, the Chinese government proposed the National Fitness Program and put it into practice. One significant approach applied by the program is to build “fitness trails” in available public spaces for nearby residents. However, these trails, consisting a limited amount of exercise equipment, are often obsolete and abandoned places risking the health and safety of nearby residents. This leaves us a big challenge in planning and design. To what extent can we use research, knowledge, and systematic design thinking from landscape architecture to flip existing fitness trails over into engaging health enhancements for the wellbeing of all? This thesis examined current conditions of 30 different urban fitness trails in the city of Guangzhou and conducted an in-depth analysis of two typical urban fitness trail cases in Liuyun community. By research and analysis, a set of design guidelines was created and prepared for future practices. In response to design strategies provided, a comprehensive fitness trail design in Liuyun community was made for illustration. Through investigation, it is apparent that many of the urban fitness trails were unwisely built in locations and poorly considered in design components. By a more inclusive understanding of health, various health-promoting factors including mental health, social wellbeing, and healthy food were brought into design rather than physical activity only. In the illustrative design chapter, constructive design ideas and solutions were made and explained, with hope to set up the stage for related practitioners.
Issue Date:2016-12-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Haoyang Li
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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