Cobblestone streets are good for you

We know cobblestone streets aren’t the best for driving on, but that probably means just the opposite for people. Behavioral researchers from the Oregon Research Institute are proving it’s true.

Their studies show that people who walk on cobblestone streets enjoy significant improvement in balance, measures of mobility and blood pressure. The stones seemed to serve as a vast community of massage therapists for the feet. The surprising result was that the study lasted only 16 weeks. Imagine what would happen after a year or two!

This is just further evidence that there’s more to designing a place for people rather than cars – that we live in an environment that’s far less oriented to humans; to our health and well being than we think.

What other subtle design features do you feel would cater more to people? Speak your mind below…

  • Chris Miller

    Interesting post! I’m going to forward this to the Carfree Cities mailing list. (Joel Crawford, the list moderator, is currently writing a book on carfree city design to follow up his earlier book Carfree Cities.) Another perhaps less subtle design feature, that he mentions as very successful, is pedestrian gates or passageways through buildings that lead into courtyards, what Italians refer to as the “sottoportego”. They afford a nice, comfortable way of transitioning between the street itself and the enclosed area of a courtyard.