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The overall goal of the Active Cities project is that everyone in Dublin will have both the opportunity and motivation to actively participate in sport and physical activity. The project will work towards the vision that maintaining an active lifestyle becomes an accepted part of the cultural norm in Dublin. That it will be a part of everyday life so that everyone looks to achieve set National targets around physical activity levels. There will be a key focus on ensuring this access for all ages and abilities with targeted actions and allocation of resources focused on areas of disadvantage and people with disabilities.

An Active City is one that is continually creating and improving opportunities in the built and social environments and expanding community resources to enable all its citizens to be physically active in day-to-day life (WHO, A Healthy City is an Active City, 2008). It is a worldwide best practice initiative under the Global Action Plan for Physical Activity (GAAPPA).

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This project will be centred on the principle of bringing together all key stakeholders and decision makers in the area to achieve a joined up and strategic approach to maximising existing opportunities, identifying areas of need and planning for future provision. It will facilitate bringing together the various agencies, initiatives and partners to work towards a unifying project that will achieve mutual objectives by getting more people active more often. A representative and effective Steering Group will be established to lead on the Active Cities Dublin project.

Active Cities Dublin will be implemented alongside the other major strategies that contribute to National and local participation and public health agendas. It will be universally delivered across all four Local Authority areas, but with each having specific focus areas that will be relevant to that County and its population needs. Sustainability and future resource planning will be a key theme throughout the development of this project. Agreed marketing and communication tools/messages will be used across all Dublin areas to give a common look and feel to the project.

The Active Cities project is funded by Sport Ireland through the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF). The DAF was established by legislation and enables unclaimed funds from accounts in credit institutions in Ireland to be used towards projects for the development of disadvantaged areas. 

This fund is investing in sport and physical activity initiatives in Ireland’s eight city based Local Sports Partnerships; Dublin City Sport and Wellbeing Partnership, Fingal Sports Partnership, South Dublin Sports Partnership, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Sports Partnership, Waterford Sports Partnership, Cork Sports Partnership, Limerick Sports Partnership and Galway Sports Partnership.

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An Active City will strive to create social norms about the benefits of sport and physical activity, create programmes and opportunities for its citizens regardless of ability or age, work in partnership to increase physical activity & decrease inactivity, and create/maintain environments where sport & physical activity can happen ultimately working toward healthier lifestyles of their citizens. 

Using the GAPPA framework an Active City Strategy can be broken down in to four key pillars:

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