Sounds like a cheesy late night infomercial, I know, but who doesn’t want to increase sales and be healthier and skinnier? What is this miracle cure? Quite simply, it’s making a community walkable and bikeable.
According to a United Kingdom study, walking and cycling projects return an average of $20 in economic benefit for every $1.50 invested. The boost comes from more trade for local shops, less traffic congestion, and reduced pollution.
A University of California study showed that cities in which residents are physically active have a big advantage over their more sedentary rivals, with better economic productivity, higher property values and improved school performance, as well as a healthier population. The report stated that “in an increasingly globalized, competitive and mobile world, cities have an economic imperative to promote walking, cycling and public transport, as well as increasing the amount of green space and curbing car use.”
Inactivity is dangerous to one’s health — you’ve no doubt read that a hundred times. University of Cambridge researchers determined that just 20 minutes of walking a day could have significant positive health and weight loss benefits. How to get that 20 minutes? How about walking to work, to metro, or to meet a friend for lunch? The article states, “If more people cycled or walked to work or school, it would make a big difference in raising levels of physical activity.” Another study noted that investment in cycling in the City of Portland could save billions of dollars in better public health.
Hmm. Sounds like the Pike District/White Flint area is right on track to help us improve our economy and our health. Perhaps the Pike District will be our miracle cure.