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Op-Ed: Planners Could Do More to Encourage Healthy Communities

In many locales, instruments like traffic studies take pedestrian health into little account. According to Lark Lo, healthy communities haven't been much of a priority at all.
November 18, 2017, 1pm PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Volodymyr Baleha

For Next City, Lark Lo makes an impassioned case for greater emphasis on public and pedestrian health. "People are not in their cars when they spend money. People who don’t own cars have money to spend. People are the reason that buildings are built. Developments without people are viewed as not being successful."

The majority of U.S. counties and cities, Lo writes, do not require developers to take into account "how their developments impact people who are using active forms of transportation to get around."

In general, the health of people should come before the ease of traffic flow. "Planning boards must demand developers show how their projects will add to the health and wellness of the communities they build in. The onus of the health of our communities cannot just be on individual people to avoid 2-ton hazards."

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Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 in Next City
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