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Research shows that walkable neighborhoods help adults socialize and foster community

In another case where science proves what common sense tells us, people who live in walkable neighborhoods are less lonely, less isolated, and have stronger communities. This has implications for not only our mental and social wellness, but also our physical health.

The University of California San Diego has the details here.

They highlight how this links walkability to our larger public health policies:

Loneliness and isolation can lead to: 29% increased risk of heart disease; 32% increased risk of stroke; 50% increased risk of developing dementia among older adults; and 60% increased risk of premature death.

And they quote James F. Sallis, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors:

“Transportation and land use policies across the U.S. have strongly prioritized car travel and suburban development, so millions of Americans live in neighborhoods where they must drive everywhere, usually alone, and have little or no chance to interact with their neighbors.”

This should come as no surprise to many of us, to whom the benefits of walkable neighborhoods seem obvious. But it’s always helpful to have scientific data with precise numbers to back us up.

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