September 28, 2004

Sprawl Makes Us Sick

"[D]ata from about 8,600 people in 38 metro areas ... found their ailments increased directly in proportion to the amount of sprawl to which they were exposed. Among the most common health complaints were asthma, arthritis, headaches and high blood pressure — some of the most prevalent, but preventable, illnesses," concludes the Atlanta Journal Constitution, commenting on a study published in Public Health.

"Spending hours every week stuck in grinding traffic — getting very little exercise and breathing polluted air — can make you sick. . . .

"One of the study's most surprising findings was that those living in denser, more walkable communities tend to live four years longer than their sprawl-stressed peers. By taking steps to address the health effects of sprawl, we have an opportunity to improve the quality of life in our communities while having more time to enjoy it."

1 comment:

  1. Did you read the piece in the Sunday New York Times Magazine a couple of weeks ago called "The Autonomist Manifesto (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Road"? It's a great piece (well written, anyway) arguing that sprawl is not such a bad thing. I'm sure that being stuck in traffic for hours each day does have health effects -- but the article lists enough positive benefits of suburban life that it made me rethink my automatic biases about the growth of mega-cities.