Sunday, January 31, 2016 - International Symposium

Sunday, January 31, 2016 - International Symposium

International Symposium

Promoting Physical Activity in Public Spaces

Reclaiming urban public spaces, specifically to promote physical activity and a culture of health, is a powerful and appealing concept employed in much of the world. Compared to built environment changes, the costs are modest, easy to implement, and can accommodate people with a wide range of abilities and interests. So why are there so few across the U.S.? This International Symposium will bring experts from around the world to present evidence and share what it could take to bring Open Streets, Ciclovias and Playstreets programs to scale in the U.S.

The Symposium will occur Sunday, January 31st,  just prior to the 2016 ALR annual conference. Attendance is optional and the number of participants limited to 150 individuals. Registration for the symposium is complimentary and available on a first come, first served basis. Support for this symposium was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

You can download the International Symposium agenda and speaker bios or view below.

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
Light breakfast will be provided to participants attending the International Symposium.

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
Michael Pratt, MD, MSPE, MPH, Emory University
C. Tracy Orleans, PhD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Symposium Panel 1

Playing in Public: Public Space for Physical Activity

Public space has great potential for low-cost physical activity promotion. In cities with limited parks and green space or challenging issues of traffic and security repurposing streets and plazas for physical activity classes is one of the best ways to bring physical activity to the people. In this session examples from Latin America and South Africa are presented as well as an adaptation of this approach in the U.S.

Chair: Michael Pratt, MD, MSPE, MPH, Emory University


Adriana Díaz del Castillo, MD, MS, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
Arturo Rodriguez, RN, RS, MPH, City of Brownsville Public Health Department, Texas, USA
Estelle Lambert, PhD, University of Cape Town, South Africa

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.  Break and Group Physical Activity

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Symposium Panel 2

Ciclovias and Open Streets Across the Americas

Open Streets programs in which public streets are closed to motorized vehicles and opened for cyclists, pedestrians, and for people to engage with each other are a ”new" phenomena across the US. This session will summarize the growth of these programs in the U.S. and also look at the four decades of experience from Latin America where "ciclovías" are regular civic programs.

Chair: Sharon Roerty, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Aaron Hipp, PhD, North Carolina State University, USA
Olga Lucia Sarmiento, MD, PhD, Universidad Los Andes, Colombia
Mike Lydon, Principal, Streets Planning Collaborative, USA

12:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Discussant and Closing Remarks
Emily Munroe, Executive Director, 8-80 Cities, Canada
Jasper Schipperijn, MS, PhD, University of Southern Denmark

12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

ALR Annual Conference

The ALR annual conference will begin at 3:00 p.m. The agenda can be found here.