Note: As of January 1, 2008, the Active Living Network is no longer operational. To stay connected to the active living movement, visit RWJF's related national programs:
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What is active living?

Active living is an approach to community design that integrates physical activity into daily routines.

What is the Active Living Network's mission?

Our mission is to build a national coalition of leaders who have a stake in the way places are designed and built, and to support their efforts to create and promote activity-friendly communities.

How is public health connected to the way places are designed and built?

Since World War II, physical activity has been systematically designed out of many places in America, with a dramatic corresponding increase in obesity-related deaths. We are working to create places that integrate physical activity into daily life as a way to respond to this problem.

What is an active living environment?

An active living environment:

  • Is walkable
  • Supports, encourages and promotes physical activity
  • Is designed to support compact development, mixed use, accessibility and public transit
  • Locates activities of daily living within walking distance along an interconnected network of streets, sidewalks and paths, thereby increasing incentives for walking and decreasing driving
  • Has sidewalks, on-street bicycle facilities, multi-use paths and trails, parks, open space and recreational facilities
  • Promotes policies that encourage mixed-use development and a connected grid of streets, allowing homes, work, schools and stores to be close together and accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Makes being physically active 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week easy, convenient and pleasurable

How are active living environments created?

Much of the work developing active living environments comes out of existing efforts such as New Urbanism, Smart Growth and transit-oriented design. Active living environments are achieved in many ways:

  • Through architectural design that orients homes to the street, creating a sense of safety and community
  • Through the connectivity of street and road systems
  • By supporting bicycling and walking through amenities such as sidewalks, crosswalks and bicycle lanes
  • By mixing living and retail spaces so it is more convenient and pleasurable to walk to the store than to step into your car

Who's involved in creating the Active Living Network?

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Active Living Network advisory committee and a wide array of partner organizations are creating and growing the Network.

How can I get involved?

If you're interested in becoming a part of the Active Living Network, please email us at We encourage the use of materials from this site by all interested individuals and organizations, whether a partner or not.

Where can I submit suggestions for site content?

We welcome and encourage comments and suggestions on how to make this site an even better tool. Please email us at and let us know what you think.

Can I link to the Active Living Network website?

Yes! Visit Link to Us and follow a few easy steps.