New York City might have a reputation for being one of the most walkable cities in the world, but they still are facing high rates of residents being overweight or obese. That’s why they’re rethinking city design to encourage physical activity. This great New York Times column shares how the city is designing for health by focusing on transportation, recreation, buildings and access to food. While New York City might be thousands of miles away from Arizona both geographically and metaphorically, they have a lot of good ideas that we can implement here, like creating neighborhood plazas to allow more people to live within 10 minutes of a park and improving the streetscape to encourage residents to walk.
This piece also shows that it’s critical that we improve the built environment in all parts of our state. As Joanna Frank, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Active Design, points out: “Access is the big issue. Poorer neighborhoods have less access to this infrastructure.”