Urban design & public health

Creating an optimal living climate is one of the Four Goals formulated by Gerard O’Neil. This means that urban planners should take public health into account.

We found an important study at ScienceDaily:

Adults in lower walkability neighborhoods found to have a higher predicted cardiovascular risk

According to the researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, there is correlation between the walkability of one’s neighborhood and one’s chance at getting cardiovascular diseases. People who live in the least walkable places have a 33 percent higher risk than people in the most walkable areas.

Of course, the findings of this study are far from surprising as regular physical exercise is known to be an important factor in physical health. Its importance is, however, in its implications for public policy.

Governments can by enforcing walkable urban planning realize substantial health gains. And this way we can as a society reduce medical expenses.

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