Architects in Australia have been urged to design fitness-friendly cities to help tackle the country’s obesity epidemic, according to a new national design guide.

The guide, prepared by the Planning Institute of Australia along with the Heart Foundation and the Australian Local Government Association, says that by designing cities that encourage casual exercise, architects can help in the fight against obesity.

Mixed land uses, high levels of amenity, a grid network and off-road pedestrian and cycle networks should be included in the urban structure according to the guide.

The report also says that good sightlines, lighting, active frontages, public open space, car parks and street crossings can enhance the overall well-being of a community.