Better urban planning means better health

Like Daryl Hall and John Oates, urban planning and public health are better together.

Why live in Decatur?

Let’s see: friendly people, beautiful neighborhoods, beer, parks, smart government, @Carl, good schools, beer, train and bus transit, cerveza, walking access to offices, shops and restaurants, and beer.

And one more thing . . .

A growing body of scientific research suggests dense, walkable cities – like Decatur – are healthier than their sprawling, car-centric cousins.

Wait. I have an idea!

Maybe urban planners and public officials can have some kind of meeting where they can talk making healthier cities?!?!?

Oh, poo. Someone already thought of it.

[In May] the Congress for the New Urbanism [will] hold its national convention in Atlanta; it was organized with help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the theme “New Urbanism: Rx for Healthy Places.”

[. . .]

Dr. Howard Frumkin, special assistant to the CDC director for climate change and health and co-author of Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities, actually calls the Congress for the New Urbanism “a public health group. By promoting walkability, mixed use, connectivity and civic space within communities, we know more and more, based on emerging evidence, that CNU is promoting public health.”

For a longer look at how public health and urban planning can join forces to become the Hall & Oates of professions, have a look at Jonathan Lerner’s “How Urban Planning Can Improve Public Health” published today in Miller-McCune.

(Post by Andisheh Nouraee, filling-in for DM.)

12 thoughts on “Better urban planning means better health”

    1. I’ma have to call Oates as “urban planning”– that mustache and public health just can’t be reconciled.

  1. Speaking of 80’s music references (?), I believe this is the conference that David Byrne is scheduled to address. He is going to talk about bicycling. He wrote a book about his experiences with cycling in different countries.

  2. It would be great if Decatur were a little more, you know, walkable outside of the downtown core.

    That is my #1 tangent in my strategic planning sessions. We say we’re walkable, we think we’re walkable … but are we really that walkable. Not really.

    1. I think you’re right, Dean.

      I can only speak for myself, but when I say walkable, I don’t mean dense-city as much as I mean “About as walkable as a post-automobile suburb in metro Atlanta can be.”

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