How Cities Make Us Sick

How Cities Make Us Sick

You get sick, you look after yourself. Maybe you take some medicine, or go to bed early, or feed yourself healthier foods (until you feel better, which is completely bizarre). Whatever methods you choose, you attempt to make yourself healthier.

Why is it so different when our cities make us sick? Actually, why is it so different with obesity and all of its contributing factors? It’s because we don’t see our cities as being sick. Somehow, we would rather be stressed out sitting passively in traffic than getting ourselves there under our own power, not stressed, and on time. We would rather just eat what we feel like rather than think about how it might affect us later. We don’t see how our chronic inactivity and 20 extra kilos are affecting our lives, because we are perfectly happy eating as much as we feel like, and jumping in our cars as often as we can. It’s easy.

That’s what the piece below is all about. We are getting more sick because our cities are sick. They’re built that way. They are built for cars, not people. It’s a vicious circle – we build for cars, we live further away, we build more roads, we use the car more, we build more for cars, communities spread out, we use cars more, we build more roads, etc. Until cities are built for people rather than cars, we’ll never get better.

This isn’t specifically about accommodating cyclists – that is just one part of the solution. It’s about mobilizing people within their communities, making healthy communities, smart choices, and healthy people. It just so happens that accommodating for cycling ticks all of those boxes and more…

Drop us a comment, let us know what you think.

How Cities Make Us Sick appeared on CBC’s The National earlier this year.

Along similar lines, you may find this Ted Talk quite interesting. It’s rather good. Amanda, like Jannette Sadik-Khan, helped to transform New York City into the more vibrant, people-friendly place that it is today.


Header image: source