Eco-Living Magazine

Healthy Cities, Healthy People

Posted on the 10 November 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Healthy Cities, Healthy PeoplePrevious posts discussed the various keys to sustainability, including fully funded transit, complete streets, leveraging public land, and quality open space, with the presumption being that these types of decisions are good for a community’s economy, environment, and social equity. Now, emerging research is showing that moving cities from car-oriented development patterns to more compact, mixed use (i.e. sustainable) forms can also have a dramatic effect on public health.

In 2004, Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building Healthy Communities was the first to explicitly connect sprawl with human well-being. Sitting in traffic is detrimental to one’s health, reduces life expectancy, increases healthcare costs, and further isolates people, especially the elderly. These effects can be seen in American cities. For example, in San Antonio, Texas, 1 out of 3 children and 2 out of 3 adults are obese.

The most obvious way to get people to walk more is to create places that people want to walk to. One survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) found that elderly people would use a park simply if there was one within walking distance. The RWJ Foundation is one of the leaders in improving health outcomes through research and action. One of their programs, Active Living by Design, is working to change the built environment so that physical activity is a part of everyday life. Another policy that aids in creating more walkable places is encouraging developers to build less parking, thereby creating places with more housing and people.

While programs are growing and succeeding, priorities and funding are still slanted towards roads. Here in Washtenaw County, Michigan, 80% of funding goes to roads, 10% for mass transit, and 10% for non-motorized systems (walking or bicycling). By changing rules so as to make compact, walkable development the norm and directing more funding towards mass transit and non-motorized transportation, we can have not only healthier urban economies, but healthier neighbors.

Image Source

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Healthy Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

    I’ve recently come to the realization that most people are on some sort of diet. Either, low cal, low fat, low carb, or whatever new diet that is trending now. Read more

    The 07 May 2013 by   Sukarah
  • Healthy Blueberry Muffins

    Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as all dieticians state, most of the time, due to morning rush, the hurry to get to work on time,... Read more

    The 18 April 2013 by   Sukarah
  • Healthy Raw Mango Ice-Cream Recipe

    What's summer without ice cream and mangoes?? Anyone who knows me knows I love my mangoes and who doesn't love ice-cream? Unfortunately gone are those days... Read more

    The 26 April 2013 by   Lookingoodfeelingfab
  • 7 Great Juicing Recipes for Healthy Skin

    Photo Credit: Janie Osborne for The Wall Street Journal7 Great Juicing Recipes for Healthy, Brighter SkinBerry Berry Good Skin Beautifier 1 cup blackberries 1cu... Read more

    The 23 April 2013 by   Mamakbest
  • Healthy Cities to Visit in the U.S.

    Back in March, we covered a story on the healthiest cities around the world for those of you that value a healthy and active lifestyle and want to visit cities... Read more

    The 07 June 2012 by   Healthytravelblog
  • Satya: The Truth About Lies and Healthy Aging

    by RamSun Through the Clouds by Brad GibsonIn the Sadhana Pada of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali we are introduced to the yamas that serve as moral, ethical and... Read more

    The 22 April 2013 by   Ninazolotow
  • The Healthy Golf Weekend (It Really Isn’t Impossible)

    It’s that time of year when golfers start to get the itch; they’re dying to play. Over the next few weeks, thousands upon thousands of golfers will head away... Read more

    The 23 April 2013 by   Healthytravelblog

Add a comment