Our Bodies, Our Cars
"Driving makes you fat."
That blunt assertion, by keynote speaker Lawrence Frank, captured the nut of the argument at New Urbanism: Rx for Healthy Places, the 18th national conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Held in Atlanta May 19-22, CNU 18 was co-organized with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both organizations address public health through the design of the built environment, as well as human-powered transportation. National experts spoke to about 1,300 attendees – including a dozen or so from Aus tin – about how walkable, bikable compact communities encourage healthy lifestyles, where physical activity is part of everyday life. Participants considered how compact traditional neighborhoods and communities, where residents can walk to a corner store and have only a short commute (e.g., the kind of places where most presuburbia Americans lived), can reduce obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and national health care costs....
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