Andre Picard, health columnist for the Globe and Mail points to the benefits of walkable cities in today’s Globe and Mail;


Walking is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.

It's good for your heart, your mind and your bones. Walking, like many forms of exercise, makes you feel better – emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It keeps you young.

But the benefits of living life at five kilometres an hour extend well beyond the individual. Walking is good for the environment, crime prevention, community-building and the economy. Conversely, the most unhealthy, unsafe, anti-social and costly thing people do routinely is drive.

Yet, we continue to build cities, suburbs and public spaces for life at 40, 60 and 100 km/h – for cars, not people. In other words, the unhealthiness of people and the planet – from the epidemics of inactivity and loneliness through to the horrors wrought by climate change – is largely by design.

And the solution, by and large, is to redesign cities, to make them people-first places.

That is the powerful message that emerged from an international conference held last week in Calgary hosted by Walk21 (short for Walking in the 21st century).

The conference featured as many technical discussions (such as the best metrics to measure walkability) as philosophical/political ones (how black men are less likely to walk because they fear police harassment), but there were also many practical examples of the benefits of promoting walkability.

….  Read more in the article linked above.