Many point to the virtues and benefits of physical activity for human health, but we feel it is important to broaden this thinking to include the urban space of our towns and cities as a support which can either favour or inhibit the adoption of healthier and more active life styles. This paper argues that sport represents a potential factor for social and urban development, even though many statistics indicates that large numbers of people in Italy take no part in any physical activity. On the other hand, spaces for sport in our towns and cities seem to have become more closed and confined, being relegated increasingly to ‘specialist places’. It is therefore useful, as many cases demonstrate, to rethink the diffuse practice of sport in urban space outside dedicated facilities.
Keywords: Sport; public space; community practices