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Old 10-14-2014, 01:13 PM
 
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If you live in a neighborhood where you can walk to places that would normally require a car, then you are inadvertently getting more exercise than if you used a car for those trips.

That's why I like "walkable" neighborhoods. Walking for transportation may not be a rigorous workout, but it certainly is beneficial, especially if you work in an office all day.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
So do non-walkable communities.

San Jose metro has a lower obesity rate than San Francisco metro. You'd have to be out of your mind to say San Jose is more walkable than San Francisco. San Francisco is by far the most walkable place in California. Now, San Francisco also includes some East Bay areas that are even less walkable than most of San Jose metro is.

How about this? You know what the healthiest county in California is? Marin. Not walkable, doesn't have a particularly strong economy either. What it does have is a lot of rich people who work in San Francisco. Rich people smoke less, are less obese, exercise more, and eat better. Result? Healthiest county in California. It doesn't matter that it isn't walkable and really doesn't have much of an economy itself.

It goes from there. No place in the top ten is particularly walkable. San Mateo and Santa Clara are definitely the most walkable with very, very good economies. They come in at #3 and #4 behind Placer which is mostly rural with a weak economy, but again it's mostly wealthier people that live there commuting into Sacramento are telecomuters, retirees, or just active people who live there for the outdoor recreational activities it affords and scrape by.

Going down to #17 is Contra Costa. Suburban, not particularly wealthy but it has a smaller population of inner city poor which is my guess as to why it ranks so high. Finally you have Alameda at #20 and San Francisco at #22. They are by far the most walkable in California along with parts of LA county. They're also pretty wealthy.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

There's very little food deserts in SF or Alameda. In comparison, way more of Contra Costa is a food desert and where you really see it is interior and rural California. Fresno, Salinas, Merced... lots of food deserts where people really live as aside from say Treasure Island or Hunters Point where very few people live.
USDA ERS - Go to the Atlas
Many of the counties you listed are suburbs of SF which would mean that a good number of them probably walk a lot in SF where they probably work.

And yes, money does play a part in this when people can afford the cost and time to go to the gym regularly. That tends to be the main way to make up for the lack of walkability in a car centric community.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:36 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,674,215 times
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Many of the counties you listed are suburbs of SF which would mean that a good number of them probably walk a lot in SF where they probably work.

And yes, money does play a part in this when people can afford the cost and time to go to the gym regularly. That tends to be the main way to make up for the lack of walkability in a car centric community.
I would think it's fair to say that wealth drives health. However, I think it could also be said that a walkable wealthy community will likely be healthier than a non-walkable counterpart.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:48 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,486 times
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Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Many of the counties you listed are suburbs of SF which would mean that a good number of them probably walk a lot in SF where they probably work.
"Suburbs of SF" is stretching the concept of a suburb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
And yes, money does play a part in this when people can afford the cost and time to go to the gym regularly. That tends to be the main way to make up for the lack of walkability in a car centric community.
Wealthy individuals, it should be noted, can afford to eat healthier foods and are more likely to have the time to prepare those meals. They also have better access to stress relievers--doctors, medications, and comfortable beds and bedrooms. Stress and healthiness are inextricably linked. We have a subset with better access to healthy foods, healthcare, workout facilities, etc. Economics is hugely important.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:00 PM
 
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It confuses me at all that anyone would argue against the humanization of our cities. Building for human beings--keeping in mind our preferences and needs for layout, scale, and design--is absolutely positive. They provide a better tax base, are more economically resilient, allow more mobility options, can be healthier, and can be better for the environment.

Obviously, walkability isn't a silver bullet for any of society's ills--it won't, in and of itself, make people absolutely healthy, fend off economic downturns, or make every job close--but it opens up opportunities and possibilities for healthiness and for job access.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:17 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,995 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
It confuses me at all that anyone would argue against the humanization of our cities. Building for human beings--keeping in mind our preferences and needs for layout, scale, and design--is absolutely positive. They provide a better tax base, are more economically resilient, allow more mobility options, can be healthier, and can be better for the environment.

Obviously, walkability isn't a silver bullet for any of society's ills--it won't, in and of itself, make people absolutely healthy, fend off economic downturns, or make every job close--but it opens up opportunities and possibilities for healthiness and for job access.
That's not what's being debated here. The thread title is not "Why walkable". When someone posts that people in walkable neighborhoods are healthier, I feel I have to respond with reality. As a group, that is untrue.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:32 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,995 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
And yet several pages have been consumed debating if walkability is a cure-all for obesity. It is as if the value of walkability boils down to the success or failure on any one metric at a time.

And that was my point, that a walkable area enables things that an unwalkable area does not, and that enabling is not the same as creating.
I did not introduce the topic of obesity. I merely responded to it. In fact, I asked people to quit talking about it, including in two posts that were deleted.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,264 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Auto-centrism has a strange way of creeping into urban design in even transit-rich places. This building is located 250 feet away from a subway stop.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Washi...=12,40.25,,0,0

Was the two lane driveway to the garage really necessary here?
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:51 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,486 times
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I did not introduce the topic of obesity. I merely responded to it. In fact, I asked people to quit talking about it, including in two posts that were deleted.
Then it's good that I did not quote you or in any way refer to you.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:30 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

How about this? You know what the healthiest county in California is? Marin. Not walkable, doesn't have a particularly strong economy either. What it does have is a lot of rich people who work in San Francisco. Rich people smoke less, are less obese, exercise more, and eat better. Result? Healthiest county in California. It doesn't matter that it isn't walkable and really doesn't have much of an economy itself.
Parts of San Rafael appeared like it's walkable. Regardless, it appeared to be a place where lots of locals really liked getting outside, particularly mountain bikes.
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