A lot has happened in the world of walkability and smart walkable communities. We are now seeing the connection between healthy living and wellness and walking every day in safe comfortable environments being directly tied into good town and city planning design.
In the Fall of 2015, The Surgeon General of the United States released a call to action that aims to promote walking and walkable communities. The call to action has five goals
- to increase people’s physical activity to improve overall physical and mental health;
- to make walking a national priority;
- to promote programs and policies supportive of walking where people live, play and work;
- to provide information to encourage walking and improve walkability;
- to research and evaluate the impacts of walking and the health of citizens.
In 2012, half the population of the United States, approximately 117 million people were living with chronic disease. 150 minutes of moderate activity or 70 minutes of intense activity can lessen the impact of disease and can improve physical and mental health. Simply put, twenty minutes a day of walking in your daily activities can make you a happier, healthier person.
The implications of such a national policy means that many cities and towns that are built around transportation by car must find ways to adapt to a more walkable way of life. This policy will have far reaching implications in the 21st century as engineers and planners look at including walkability as a vital piece of urban transportation.
The actual content of the call to action is below: