City living healthier than in the suburbs?

Yes, according to a report on public health as it relates to development patterns by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.

As you can see on the graph from their report, the greater the density (sprawl index), the fewer the fatalities per 1000 people, as calculated over 83 U.S. regions that covered two-thirds of the total population. Why are people dying? The reports showed lower densities have higher incidence of cardiovascular and lung diseases including asthma in children, as well as cancer, diabetes, obesity, traffic injuries and deaths, exacerbated by an increase in air pollution, gridlock, traffic accidents and lack of physical activity.

Their recommendations?

– Moving to a town or city that has a reliable public transportation system;
– Choosing a place to live that has bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths;
– Choosing a town with parks and wildlife areas to clean and cool the air;
– If possible, choosing a community where you can walk to work, stores and schools;
– Getting to know your neighbors and volunteer in the community.

Read more about the connection of health and fitness to cooltowns.