People in dense cities are thinner and have healthier hearts than people in sprawling subdivisions. New research says the secret is in the patterns of the streets.
To read the full article, visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/...
To summarise, the author argues that our modern urban design, which produce closed-off streets that don't flow, are playing a negative impact on our lives as they discourage walking.
"The original city design was really no design at all. Known as “organic,” it is the medieval pattern we see throughout many of Europe’s haphazardly still-thriving cities. Then, for centuries during and after the Renaissance, the rectilinear grid was the gold standard in city design. But in the twentieth century came what Garrick and Marshall call a complete overhaul—a shift toward the branching tree model of the modern subdivision, which was optimized for the great horseless carriage," the author writes.
Researchers have found that people who live in more sparse, tree-like communities spend about 18 percent more time driving than do people who live in dense grids. And they die more readily—despite old research that implied otherwise. Studies from the 1950s looked at safety in cul-de-sacs and found, as a researcher put it, “You'll have fewer crashes in the cul-de-sacs. Sure, you're safer if you never leave the cul-de-sac. If you take into account the entire city, your city might be killing more people."