Fwd: [SCLPConsCom] Fixing a fat nation...through land use
- perhaps of some interest...
Please read the Washington Monthly article by clicking on the URL below
Fixing a Fat Nation from Washington Monthly
I received this email from Gladwyn, a major bike and ped activisit in SJ.
It's a rather long article, and the relevant excerpt is pasted below, found
on page 12 of 16 (the font is large - it's not really that long an article)
Building recreational bikeways and walking paths makes it easier for people
to exercise, but if we really want to make physical activity routine, those
paths and trails need to go somewhere useful---such as a store, school, or
workplace. That means creating more densely built mixed-use neighborhoods
which integrate residential and commercial real estate.
The benefits of this kind of design are already well documented. Studies
show that people living in the suburbs, whose neighborhoods are typically
less dense than urban areas, drive twice as far and walk and cycle one-third
as often as their city counterparts. In 1994, a San Francisco study found
that residents of traditional neighborhoods which had a mix of residential
and commercial uses made 16 percent of their journeys by bike or on foot,
whereas people who lived in the suburbs walked or biked only 10 percent
thereof. A Seattle study found that the activity breakdown could even be
tied to the age of one's neighborhood. People who lived in neighborhoods
built before 1947 went out on foot or bike more than three times every two
days. People in developments created after 1977 (just about the time the
obesity epidemic took off) dispensed with their cars just one-third as
The next paragraph is very interesting - it deals with building design -
specifically, where the stairs are located!
Usually we thing of 'green building' issues in terms of design, and other
related energy issues - here the slant is to get people to walk/climb rather
that use the elevator - for health reasons, not energy conservation reasons!
However, the 2 are closely related - one of the conclusions of the article
is that rather than focusing on metabolic reasons for obesity and other
health problems, we need to look at our environment - so you see, this
really is right up our alley.
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