The planning, development and operations of both new and expanded sports and leisure facilities has never been more challenging or faced as many contradictions. Various levels of government are concerned with providing the level of funding appropriate for maintaining and developing healthy communities. Municipal governments in particular are facing greater complexities and obstacles in providing appropriate facilities and programs:
- People are moving to the cities and need not only housing but also spaces for sports and leisure,
- The very makeup of communities is changing and becoming more international through immigration and shifting work forces,
- Individuals, community groups and sports organizations want more input into visioning and planning new facilities and ultimately, a more collaborative process,
- People are remaining active longer and are looking to specific types of facilities and programs that support their specific interests and abilities,
- New sports and activities particularly focused around youth and young adults are being developed that need to be reflected in future facility design,
- Technology is having a significant impact on how we communicate, participate, motivate, and ultimately appreciate the constantly changing world around us.
Against this context of expanded users, facilities and programs, governments are faced with the prospect of reducing funding or find alternative ways to deliver projects and programs. National, state and local governments must also deal with the increase in obesity for all age groups. We are at a possible milestone where the next generation may be less healthy than the current one.
About the IAKS Congress
The IAKS Congress for the Design, Construction, Modernization and Management of Sports and Leisure Facilities is the longest-standing international forum for experts in sports and leisure facilities.
The IAKS Congress benefits from the direct support and involvement of the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. This partnership is responsible for the Exemplary Awards program, the most prestigious event for recognizing exception sports and leisure design. Moreover, the congress receives official support from Sportaccord and Germany's Ministry of the Interior.
The congress audience is truly international and includes representatives from all levels of government, architects, engineers, designers, facility operators, and technical experts.
Concurrently, Koelnmesse and IAKS stage FSB - International trade show for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities - the world's largest showcase for the industry's products and services.