Are Planners Responsible for America's Obesity Epidemic?

Many factors have contributed to America's obesity crisis, but the design of the built environment has had an undeniable role. A new study shows that living in a smart growth community can increase physical activity among children.
September 25, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"A group of University of California, Berkeley, researchers wanted to see if neighborhood design, or smart growth planning principles--like mixed land use, walkable neighborhoods, compact housing, and green space--could shape activity and health," writes Sydney Brownstone. "So they measured the activity levels of children in a smart growth community (called the Preserve) compared to activity levels of children in conventional suburban communities in Chino, California."

"After analyzing the results, researchers noted one significant difference: Kids in the smart growth neighborhood showed local activity levels that were 46% higher than those of kids who resided in the ticky-tacky Chino suburbs' rows upon rows of post-war housing."

The study seems to confirm what planners have come to learn, when you design for the movement of cars you inhibit the movement of people. 

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Published on Monday, September 23, 2013 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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