There were several talks, panel discussions, and workshops at the 2011 forum. Below are three of these keynotes, available for downloading in their entirety.
For more details on the rest of the 2011 program, see the downloadable program guide and the report on the 2011 forum page.
keynote lecture - Dr William Bird
Dr William Bird has 15 years experience in physical activity, environment and health. He is the founder of four major environment and health programmes: Walking for Health (currently part of Natural England), the Green Gym (part of BTCV), the Blue Gym (part of Peninsula Medical School) and Health Forecasting (part of the Met Office). William helped found academic departments at Peninsula Medical School and Loughborough University.
He is the author of several research papers including Natural Thinking: investigating links between the natural environment, biodiversity and mental health and Natural Fit: how nature improves your fitness and reduces stress. His book, Walking for Health, has been translated into three languages. William also currently advises the UK Government on the financial and health benefits of exercise. He trained in medicine at The Royal London Hospital, practiced full-time as a GP for 10 years and still works part-time as a GP. William was awarded the MBE in 2010 for services to physical activity and health.
keynote lecture - Dr Frances Kuo
Frances E (Ming) Kuo is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist examining the impacts of urban landscapes on human health. Her research focuses on how the presence of trees, grass, and other natural elements within the settings of daily life supports healthy human functioning in both individuals and communities. Starting in 1993, she led a series of studies on the impacts of green residential spaces on human functioning in inner city Chicago, for which she and her collaborators received the Environmental Design Research Association s Achievement Award. Subsequently, she and her former student Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor began examining the impacts of green spaces on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD); that line of investigation has yielded both rigorously controlled evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between physical environments and AD/HD symptoms, as well as a large, national study documenting the generalizability of this relationship. Currently, in addition to her AD/HD work, Dr Kuo is investigating positive impacts of schoolyard environments on students academic achievement (as measured by standardized test scores), as well as how residential environments can support active living among older adults. Dr Kuo s work has convincingly linked healthy urban ecosystems to stronger, safer neighbourhoods, lower crime, reduced AD/HD symptoms, reduced aggression, and an array of mental health indicators. Dr Kuo recently completed a review of the scientific evidence for the role of green environments in a healthy human habitat for the National Recreation and Parks Association.
The media has taken great interest in the relationship between urban green space and human health. Dr Kuo s work has been featured on CNN s Headline News, NPR s All Things Considered, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and a PBS documentary The Forests Where We Live. Newspaper coverage includes articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and New Jersey Sentinel, as well as articles in Canada, UK, Germany, Poland, and Chile. The Salt Lake City Olympic Committee highlighted her work as a part of its Healthy Environments, Healthy People theme for the 2001 Games.
Dr Kuo is a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she directs the multidisciplinary Landscape and Human Health Laboratory. She holds appointments in both the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and in the Department of Psychology. Her background is in cognitive psychology and environmental psychology, with degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (MA) and the University of Michigan (PhD).
keynote lecture - Gil Penalosa
Internationally renowned liveable city advisor and social marketing strategist, Gil Penalosa is passionate about vibrant and healthy communities. Hoping to improve the quality of life for all residents, Gil promotes walking and cycling as activities and the re-creation and use of city parks and other potentially great public places.
As Executive Director of Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities and former Commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation in Bogota, Colombia, Gil s tireless commitment to fostering healthy communities remains front and centre. He also works as Senior Consultant for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects. And he serves on the Boards of Directors of Ciclovias of the Americas, and City Parks Alliance.
After many years of managerial experience in the private and public sector, Gil was appointed Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogot , Colombia. In that position Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Sim n Bol var, a 360 hectare park is the best known; here they created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending making it the main recreational and cultural event in the country. Gil s team initiated the new Ciclovia car-free Sundays today an internationally recognized program which sees over 1.3 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometres of Bogot s city roads.
Because of his unique blend of pragmatism and passion, Gil s leadership and advice has been sought out by many cities and organizations around the world. A speaker in high demand, Gil has been keynote speaker and provided consultation throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.