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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities-Complete Street Thinking

Recent studies show that people living in walkable neighborhoods get about 35–45 more minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, and are substantially less likely to be overweight or obese, than do people of similar socioeconomic status living in neighborhoods that are not walkable. Living close to parks and other recreation facilities also is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth. One national study found that adolescents with easy access to multiple recreation facilities were both more physically active and less likely to be overweight and obese than were adolescents without access to such facilities.

The Complete Streets program recently adopted by the Tennessee Department of Transportation is aimed at targeted infrastructure which provides safe bicycling, walking, other recreation facilities in every community in the state. The positive economic and social benefits of this kind of wise investment, although involving more initial costs, result in strong returns over the long term. For more on how we benefit from this kind of policy in our state read more here

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