Moving a little more goes a long way when it comes to staying healthy. With research showing how an inactive lifestyle is related to everything from heart disease to cancer to mental health issues, Canadians need to get active.
With such a strong link between physical activity and health, is there a way we can design our communities to create healthier people?
The City of Edmonton thinks so. Blatchford is being thoughtfully designed to be a leading example of healthy community design.
“Research has shown that a well-designed community can improve an individual’s physical and mental health. That’s why the concept of Blatchford is an exciting one for us in the health field.” says Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services.
Blatchford will showcase how to build a community meant for pedestrians and cyclists in addition to motorists. Design elements being planned to encourage active modes of transportation include building Edmonton’s first cycle track (protected bike lane), custom street furniture, pedestrian-scaled lighting, and wide sidewalks and boulevards.
Dr. Predy hopes Blatchford’s impacts reach beyond just the neighbourhood. “Once people see the positive impacts that Blatchford has on the people that live there, I think the community will serve as a model for other places.”