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Walkable cities really do get people walking. According to a cross sectional study of cities around the world found that, "The biggest design factors affecting the amount of 'moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity,' including walking, were: residential density, park and public transport density, and intersection density," writes Charlie Sorrel in an article for Fast Coexist.
The study, which was carried out in 14 cities sought to, "determine whether or not the cities' layouts themselves were the reason for increased health, as opposed to different lifestyles in different countries," Sorrel writes. The researches found that in cities as different as Baltimore and Bogota, "Dense, mixed-use city streets, with high walkability and ready access to good public transit: We've heard those criteria before. But this study is important because it shows that these factors lead to better public health independent of the economic status of the city or the cultural differences in different countries."