“’Sometimes we have to use cars, but that doesn’t mean they have to dominate our lives. Instead it should be dominated by human interactions…the level of car us in New York City is so inconsistent with what we want out of our city,’ whether in terms of health, quality of public life, or air quality.”
Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives
in Pedaling Revolution, by Jeff Mapes
[Healthy] communities have gathering places that are within walking distance of homes, or a short bike ride, drive, or shuttle trip away. These critical neighborhood ‘meet-ups’ can include parks, libraries, community centers, places of worship, gyms, Internet cafes, ice cream stores, or neighborhood diners. Small neighborhood parks, town squares, and plazas are great places to sit and read, catch up on e-mail, talk with friends, or watch kids play. Larger parks and greenways can offer walking trails, bike paths, and sports. Getting to these meeting places provides some of the physical activity that keeps us healthy. Being there in the company of friends provides the critical social interactions that keep us connected and engaged. Being part of a community also triggers an informal network of folks who might keep an eye out for each other [which provides]…more social support and reduced psychological distress.
EPA pamphlet on creating healthy communities