- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants everyone, including the poor, to get fit. One of the solutions with his backing: make elevators painfully slow in low-income housing to encourage people to take the stairs.

CNS News reports that in 2010 Mr. Bloomberg worked in conjunction with certain private sector groups to create “Active Design Guidelines.” The guidelines promote “car-free” neighborhoods, encourage “physical movement” inside buildings and improve “access to nutritious food.”

A real-world example of the kind of vision the mayor seeks to implement on a grand scale is Arbor House, which Newsday reported on in July:

“Piped in jazz, artwork on the walls, a wider staircase and calming lights are used in hopes of getting tenants to use the stairs in a new eight-story ‘active design’ residential building in the Bronx.

“The Arbor House’s earth-toned tiled lobby has three glass staircase doors and a ‘living green wall’ with plants. Residents searching for elevators will find them down the hall, programmed to move at a slow pace.”

The tab for Arbor House and its “active design” philosophy ran $37.7 million for 124 units, CNS News reports.

According to an article in the New York City Housing Authority Journal provided by CNS News, Arbor House is part of Mr. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, a multibillion-dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year.

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