Good health starts with how we build

Ten years ago when I started to talk
about…. I think we’ve constructed America to make people overweight, isolated, and depressed and I
wrote a policy piece on this effect that sprawl was bad for our health. I upset a lot of people! And the National
Association of Home Builders attacked me for quote-unquote
“worse than junk science.” in the last year the biggest developers
have embraced healthy communities and
they have ten principles for healthy communities The first one is, these are the big developers, put people first – think about people’s needs not
car’s needs not money needs necessarily they’re always gonna think about that but put people first. And my favorite is
rule number five: make the Healthy Choice the easy choice A healthy community obviously needs clean air, clean water, healthy food. But I actually think it
also needs to have a place that people can easily walk,
easily and safely bicycle easily connect to their neighbors and
have places where you can socialize and that gives us a sense of belonging and our physical health issues whether
it’s the obesity epidemic or the diabetes epidemic can be helped by eating more sensibly and a lot more
walking and exercise but our mental health issues
which are quite prevalent; depression is the most prevalent disorder in America are really helped by being both
physically active and by being with people we care about and people who care about us. There are
amazing changes going on in our society bright young people don’t want to be
living in distant isolated suburbia, do not want to be in cars 57 percent of the people looking to buy a
house the United States today are looking to live in lively urban
areas and want to be in a car only when they
absolutely need to for a long trip or for a long shopping thing but the rest at the time
they want to walk and bike to meet their needs this by the way is
one the reasons that developers are talking about building much more
quality density and creating communities rather than simply covering the
landscape with single-family homes because it’s a good
business investment.

Joseph Wolf

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