Walk It Out: Urban Design Plays Key Role in Creating Healthy Cities

Published: March 7, 2013
sciencedaily.com

Residents of new housing developments increased their exercise and their wellbeing when they had more access to shops and parks, a new University of Melbourne study reveals.

The ten year study found that the overall health of residents of new housing developments in Western Australia, improved when their daily walking increased as a result of more access to parks, public transport, shops and services.

Lead researcher Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne said the study provided long-term evidence that residents’ walking increased with greater availability and diversity of local transport and recreational destinations.

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Patient urbanism: Build neighborhoods without high debt

By Steve Mouzon
Published: March 3, 2013
Better! Cities & Towns

Building neighborhoods patiently requires far less debt for infrastructure and results in places that are more interesting than those that are built all at once. This was once the way we built everywhere, but it is now illegal all over. Why? Because cities insist on “seeing the end from the beginning,” meaning that they want the developer to begin by building the final condition of the neighborhood. In human terms, it would be like deciding that we can no longer tolerate giving birth to a child that grows into an adult; we will only allow giving birth to an adult… an incredibly painful proposition that simply doesn’t work.

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Science Fiction vs. Reality: Tomorrow’s New Cities

By EMBARQ
Published: March 5, 2013
Sustainable Cities Collective

In Guy Montag’s city, it is illegal to be a pedestrian. The main character in Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian American classic, Fahrenheit 451, commutes by subway. He thinks little of the circumstances and of the culture which gave rise to such laws forbidding walking, until he is nearly hit by a speeding automobile and realizes the teenagers behind the wheel are ambivalent to, and even more disconcertingly, desensitized from the possibility of causing a fatal traffic accident.

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