Study Shows Public Health Benefits of Recreational Facilities on Urban Rivers

A new study finds that the cost of building urban river parkways and other recreational facilities is more than offset by the savings in public health costs, such as obesity.
August 7, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Melanie Curry shares news of a new report, called Urban River Parkways: An Essential Tool for Public Health [PDF], which "concludes that building walking and bike paths, parcourses, and other recreational facilities along urban rivers can provide major public health benefits and cost savings to individuals and to society by giving people opportunities to be physically active in relatively enjoyable, stress-free environs."

The report is out of UCLA’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and authored among others, by Dr. Richard Jackson, who told Curry that the report is the first to look at urban river parkways as a health issue.

According to Curry's coverage, "[the] report compares the costs of building recreational facilities with medical costs resulting from inactivity, and concludes that spending money on facilities more than pays for itself in healthcare cost savings. It concludes that 'urban river parkways can be viable, cost-effective health interventions that help direct efforts towards prevention rather than treatment, and increased public utilization increases the benefits with only small increases in the cost of maintenance.'"

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Published on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 in LA.Streetsblog
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