Researchers linked living in walkable neighborhoods to living longer. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, based on data collected in Washington state, written by Amram, Bhardwaj, Amiri, and Buchwald, determined that people “who live in highly walkable, mixed-age communities may be more likely to live to their 100th birthday.
Brussoni and colleagues studied children (10- to 13-years old) in three diverse urban neighborhoods in Canada engaged in unsupervised outdoor activities (UOA), which in the words of the researchers “are key for thriving children and societies.” Data were collected via interviews. The investigators determined that “There has been increasing recognition of the importance of children's outdoor play and independent mobility for thriving children, neighbourhoods, cities and society. . . .
Kondo and colleagues studied links between tree cover and human longevity. They report that “greenspaces in urban environments have been associated with physical and mental health benefits for city dwellers. . . . We did a greenspace health impact assessment to estimate the annual premature mortality burden for adult residents associated with projected changes in tree canopy cover in Philadelphia between 2014 and 2025. . .
People designing and managing cities today can benefit from learning about life in ancient settlements. A research group headed by Schott Ortman at the University of Colorado Boulder published a study in Science Advances: “Ortman and Jose Lobo from Arizona State University took a deep dive into data from the farming towns that dotted the Rio Grande Valley between the 14th and 16th centuries. Modern metropolises should take note: As the Pueblo villages grew bigger and denser, their per capita production of food and other goods seemed to go up, too.
Lee and Contreras evaluated how walkability and crime are related using data collected in Los Angeles. They determined that “walkability had an especially strong linear effect on robbery rates: a 24% increase in the robbery rate accompanied a 10-point increase in Walk Score on a block, controlling for the effects of local businesses and sociodemographic characteristics. . . .
Gotz and colleagues link area walkability and human personality. The researchers share that they had “hypothesized that walkability would be positively linked to Agreeableness and Extraversion due to increased opportunities for social interactions and selective migration. . . . walkability was positively related to Extraversion . . . but not to Agreeableness. . . . walkable urban environments may be conducive to a more animated and lively social climate which is reflected in heightened extraversion among residents of such areas. . . . walkability robustly predicts individual Extraversion.
Research by Ambrose and colleagues confirms the psychological benefits of gardening and supports the allocation of space to it. The investigators studied data collected in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area: “five measures of EWB [emotional wellbeing] were computed for each participant for each activity type [while doing that activity]: average net affect, average happiness, average meaningfulness, the frequency of experiencing peak positive emotions (happiness and meaningfulness).
Mask’s book probes the power of street names. Her review is valuable because. “Street names . . . are about identity, wealth, and . . . race. But most of all they are about power—the power to name, the power to shape history, the power to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why. . . .
Iravani and Rao looked at links between New Urbanist design and health. They specifically studied “how the 10 New Urbanism principles produce outcomes that affect public health. The outcomes include: (1) higher usage of non-motorized and public transit modes, which results in more physical activity; (2) lower usage of private automobiles, which results in less air pollution; (3) safer streets, which results in fewer traffic accidents; and (4) complete community planning for residents, regardless of income, age or ideas, which results in better access to health resources.
Chang and Baskin-Sommers set out to learn more about how a disorderly neighborhood can influence trust. They share that “Neighborhood disorder (i.e., physical or social decay) is associated with decreased trust, which reinforces criminal behavior for some individuals in these communities. . . . we examined the association between perceived neighborhood disorder and facial trustworthiness perception. . . . findings suggest that similarly processing trustworthy and untrustworthy faces . . .