How urban design affects our health

Research from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) has found that people in more walkable cities are more likely to be healthy.

The research involved studies in 11 countries, and recommends that cities encourage walking and physical activity through:

  • better integration of residential areas with commercial areas 
  • building communities so that the places where people want to go are in walking distance
  • prioritize pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit

Click here to read a Globe and Mail interview on this issue with UCSD Professor James Sallis.

‘New normal’ weather a major threat to Canadian municipal infrastructure and finances

Newly updated weather benchmarks from Environment Canada show that Canada’s national average winter temperature has risen 3.2 degrees. Canada is getting hotter faster than ever before and at a faster rate than almost any other country. This also means that rain, snow, sleet and hail storms are becoming more erratic. 

As Canadian insurers and other economists have noted, Canada’s infrastructure wasn’t built for this kind of climate, and much of the resulting burden falls on municipal governments. 

To read a January 2013 Globe and Mail column about the municipal financial, health, safety, infrastructure and  legal liability implications of these ‘new normal’ weather patterns, click here.