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A team of academics from several Australian universities have begun a two-and-a-half year study to determine the best strategies for designing high-density developments that promote physical and mental health—specifically type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression.
According to one of the principle designers of the study, "There is a lack of research in Australia and around the world on what is needed to ensure people can live healthy, sustainable lives in an increasingly urbanised environment. There are a lot of questions we don't have the answers to.”
Though there are the risks of increased air pollution and social isolation, a number of studies have demonstrated the health benefits of density—mainly because it means more transit, more walking, and often, more social interaction. Or at least, as Planetizen contributor Michael Lewyn recently concluded, downtown won’t kill you.