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Sprawl/Obesity/Communism?

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  • Lanyon, Ryan
    Some interesting briefs from Centrelines, the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking. CenterLines is their way of quickly
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2004
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      Some interesting briefs from Centrelines, the bi-weekly e-newsletter of the
      National Center for
      Bicycling & Walking. CenterLines is their way of quickly delivering news
      and information you can use to create more walkable and
      bicycle-friendly communities. Check online for additional stories:
      http://www.bikewalk.org/technical_assistance/resources_information/publicati
      ons/centerlines.htm

      DEVELOPERS FOCUS ON PROMOTING FITNESS

      -> According to a June 17th Washington Post article, "Just outside
      Washington, on the grounds of an old farm, a new community is taking
      shape that researchers think is the kind of place that will help solve
      the nation's growing obesity crisis. At the King Farm development in
      Rockville, Md., homes are being built, streets are being paved,
      sidewalks are being laid, and office buildings, restaurants and stores
      are being located in ways that experts say should do one seemingly
      simple but crucial thing: get people to walk more. A handful of similar
      communities have been sprouting up slowly across the nation in the
      first tentative attempts to counter the sprawl of strip malls,
      cul-de-sacs and subdivisions without sidewalks that force people to
      drive everywhere, which -- along with junk food and super-sizing -- is
      believed to be a major reason that Americans are getting so fat.

      "'We built communities with no sidewalks, and then we wonder why our
      kids don't walk to school. We live in gated communities where the
      garage faces the street and there's no connection with the neighbors,
      and we don't get out and walk. We drive to everything,' said James
      Hill, a weight researcher at the University of Colorado Health Sciences
      Center. 'We've created the perfect environment for creating obesity.'
      So far, many of the 'walkable' attributes of new neighborhoods such as
      King Farm have been unanticipated consequences of decisions that
      developers made largely to satisfy housing density requirements or to
      make their projects more marketable. But the nation's obesity crisis
      has spurred a new movement to purposefully build communities and
      retrofit existing ones to make it more natural for people to be
      physically active..."

      Source: http://www.ajc.com/health/content/health/0604/17walking.html
      Archive search:
      Cost: Yes
      Title: "Developers build walking communities to encourage exercise"
      Author: Rob Stein


      PEIRCE: "COMPLETE STREETS" PART OF OBESITY ANSWER

      -> According to a June 13th Neal Peirce column, "America's obesity
      problem is getting worse. The only ray of hope is that many people are
      now paying attention, seeking some solution. The most obvious idea is
      lots more physical exercise -- getting everyone off their duffs,
      starting with kids whose school gym hours have been scrubbed out by
      local budget crises and academic pressures. Then there's the companion
      pressure to curtail junk foods. A new wrinkle: suggesting it's time for
      the federal government to stop subsidizing fat-generating products such
      as corn syrup.

      "We're also seeing a new push to redesign our communities to get people
      out of their cars more often, walking and bicycling again. And now
      we're hearing a demand for 'complete streets.' U.S. Health and Human
      Services Secretary Tommy Thompson recently joined that course,
      suggesting 'every road being built -- you should be able to walk on it
      or ride a bike.' With 65 percent of the American people now overweight,
      31 percent obese, the obvious answer is that we need to start the
      reform measures yesterday..."

      Source: http://www.postwritersgroup.com/archives/peir0607.htm
      Archive search: http://www.postwritersgroup.com/peirce.htm
      Cost: No
      Title: "Obesity Problems Worsen But Solutions Emerge"
      Author: Neal Peirce


      CNU'S NORQUIST: SPRAWL A 'COMMUNIST PLOT'

      -> According to a June 17th Muskegon Chronicle article, "Former
      Milwaukee mayor John Norquist never saw the old Muskegon Mall and
      hasn't been around to watch its demolition over the past six months.
      But as the president of the Congress for New Urbanism, Norquist has the
      perfect term for what was done to Muskegon's historic downtown shopping
      area. It was 'scraped.' 'What's the best thing do to with a dead mall?'
      Norquist said during a recent visit to West Michigan. 'Scrape it.' The
      fact that Norquist's term fits Muskegon's downtown situation so well
      shows that Muskegon is not alone. Communities all across the upper
      Midwest and throughout the country are faced with removing defunct or
      outdated malls.

      "What comes after 'scraped malls' is what the Chicago-based Congress
      for New Urbanism is all about. 'New urbanism' is a development
      philosophy that aims to keep downtown neighborhoods and shopping
      districts to 'human scale,' making them walkable and livable. 'At the
      Congress for New Urbanism, we think sprawl is a communist plot,'
      Norquist said. But the former Democratic big-city mayor shuns
      government handouts in favor of economic development through private
      enterprise. 'You can't build a city on pity,' he says of a theme in his
      1998 book 'The Wealth of Cities.'..."

      Source:
      http://www.mlive.com/news/muchronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-4/108748716897980
      .xml
      Archive search: use "Search" window
      Cost: No (but archives appear limited)
      Title: "'New urbanism' guru sees hope for city's 'main street'"
      Author: Dave Alexander
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