Highlight in Urban Planning: Beijing’s Outdoor Gyms

Photo courtesy of Alex Balfour, London


Here in North America, the concept of an outdoor gym is pretty foreign (I can only think of ‘Muscle Beach’ down in Los Angeles), yet in Beijing, China, outdoor gyms are a common sight.  Since 1998, the government has built approximately 4000 outdoor gyms throughout the city.  These gyms create a free and convenient alternative to the rather expensive and often-inconvenient indoor gyms.

The equipment at these outdoor gyms is rather simple: instead of each machine having it’s own weight stack, these machines use the individual’s own body weight to create resistance.  And apart from the look of the machines (they are generally in bright colours), they look quite similar to what you would find in a normal indoor gym.  You can read more about this excellent urban development here.