City Design Can Affect Your Health


Park Avenue, New York City

Cities that have designs for public walking, cycling or public transport can expect a decrease in chronic diseases. Such as heart disease and diabetes.

The finding comes from an international study led by researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The goal is to see how the design of the road layout of the city and access to the shopping center affects the environment and health in cities such as Boston, Copenhagen, Delhi, London and Sao Paulo.

“With the world population expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050 and three-quarters of the population live in urban areas, urban planning should be part of a comprehensive solution to address health problems,” said co-author, Billie Giles-Corti, as reported by Health.

In the 19th century, urban planning help curb infectious diseases outbreaks through improved sanitation, housing and attempts to separate the residential and industrial areas.

“Today, there is a real opportunity where town planning can reduce disease to improve health and well-being more broadly,” said Giles-Corti.

The researchers used a computer model to study some of the factors that could affect the quality of life of the city and its people. Among them, how far people have to travel for shopping, availability and security of bicycle paths, parking fees, and access to public transport.

Researchers consider the effect of reducing the use of cars by 10 percent and reduce the distance to public transport by 30 percent.

They said measures such as building a bike path not only improve air quality but also make people more active.

Unfortunately, many city leaders around the world do not apply the methods of this study to make their city as healthy as possible.