HEPNESS establishes a transnational cooperation where cities, research and sport organizations advance new synergies to develop health and sport cities, enhancing cultural and natural assets and ecosystems services for the promotion of an active lifestyle.

Cities play a key role for enabling population to become more active. The goal of increasing physical activity must focus on a range of resources (parks, squares, green commons, streets, rivers, lakes, sea…). In this scenario, HEPNESS assumes an innovative holistic standpoint: focusing on ecosystems services for outdoor activities, providing several responses to current health, socio-economic and environmental challenges.

Integrating physical activity into daily lives is a creative process, where cities can enhance resources, before building new infrastructures. It is a process that requires the contribution of numerous cities departments and public private partnership amid cities, sport associations, tourism organizations, healthy and educational settings.

By providing methodological and practical tools, and by reinforcing the capacity of decision makers to define people centred policies and develop interventions for physical activities promotion that draw on the contribution of numerous sectors, HEPNESS generates new leadership for the promotion of health sport cities.

The HEPNESS Perspective and the Framework of practices are developed with the purpose of inspiring numerous cities to implement health-sport programs, and enhance recreational ecosystem services for active lifestyle.

The Perspective is a conceptual outline which highlights several dynamic ecosystems factors and their complex interactions for outdoor physical activities and health cities development.
The Framework is a practical tool, bringing together researches, knowledge and good practices, supporting cities to design health and sport programs to maximize level of outdoor physical activities in nature.


The main project objective is:

Developing health sport cities, by enhancing cultural and natural assests and ecosystems services for the promotion of active lifestyle

Specific objectives are:

  • improving the understanding of the potentials and the benefits deriving from the active use of cultural and natural ecosystems for the promotion of active cities, healthy communities and sport lifestyles;
  • improving institutional capacities to promote active lifestyle, and experiencing innovative schemes to re-think and manage cultural and natural resources with a sport perspective;
  • inspiring numerous cities to implement health-sport cities, by promoting the sustainable use of recreational ecosystem services for a more active lifestyle;
  • improving awareness, in order to stimulate decision makers to adopt health-sport viewpoint in the local development policies.

Definitely, the above mentioned objectives have been defined, taking into account programme, policies, studies, context and targets analysis.