Can the building you live in help you lose weight? That’s the idea behind NYC’s new “anti-obesity” apartment complex, an eight-story Bronx building called “The Melody” that was unveiled last week. The building was put up by a private development company, not the city, but units are only available to families making under $90,000 per year. It has a gym on the first floor, exercise equipment for adults and children out back, and “inviting” stairways to encourage residents to avoid elevators. Motivational slogans and signs hang on the walls.
I don’t think this will do much in the way of combating obesity — the kind of person who chooses to buy a condo in a fitness-friendly complex is probably someone who’s already concerned with diet and exercise. And if they’re not — well, the most inviting stairways in the world aren’t likely to make a difference.
But I’ve seen the sad, dim basement rooms that pass for gyms at many apartment complexes. Even if ‘anti-obesity housing’ only attracts the already health-minded, encouraging developers and architects to make fitness a key component when considering building design is still pretty rad.
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