13 May 2010

It's the urban planners, not your own laziness

| johnboy
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Good new for our tubbier readers!

The Canberra Times brings word that it’s poor urban planning in this totally planned city that’s making you fat!

Canberra planning consultant Karen Wright, who works on the national Healthy Spaces and Places research project, said there was increasing evidence linking poor urban planning to inactivity and obesity.

No need to get on the stairmaster! Just blame the National Capital Authority and the Stanhope Government as you suck down another bucket of fried chicken!

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If Canberra wasn’t so spread out, maybe people would walk, so he’s hinting about people not driving, I for one could not be without a car in Canberra.

thy_dungeonman3:59 pm 13 May 10

I read the article in the Canberra times, and apparently they brought up cooleman court which is funny becuase I was just walking there the other day and thinking how much more appealing walking and riding would be if the footpaths didn’t look like they had been abandoned decades ago (probably because they were). The same with the paths to Woden I rode over one (my mistake) that had been split by a root and was sticking up as point about half a meter out of the ground. It’s really funny how precious the government seems to be about cars with all their street-lights and smooth roads and street-sweepers and signage while pedestrians and cyclists tough it out in the wilderness, surely they deserved the better infrastructure? (at least they destroy it at a slower rate).

An excellent tool which I have a link to from my blog is Walk Score. It looks at different facilities in an area and ranks it according to ‘walkability’.

It is a US site, but accepts Australian addresses, for example, Mulley St, Weston Creek: http://www.walkscore.com/score/mulley-st-weston-creek-canberra

Sure diet is probably the leading cause of obesity, but so is lack of physical activity, and lack of physical activity has a lot to do with car dependency, and car dependency has a lot to do with urban planning.

Some how i suspect it isn’t a coincidence that 3 of the top 7 most obese countries in the world (AUS, NZ and USA) are also pretty much the most car dependent. Also note that the two thinnest in the OECD (Japan and Korea) are heavy users of public transport.

Just saying is all.

Actually Johnboy I think town planners should do everything in their ability to make the town healthy. Just as fatties should do everything in their ability to make themselves healthy. Just because you can point to factors outside your control, that’s no excuse to avoid working on the factors you can control!

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