Health happens in neighborhoods, not doctors’ offices
July 22, 2012, 7:05 pm
Filed under: Cities, Ghettos, Suburbs | Tags: , , ,

Some excerpted comments made by Dr Richard Jackson on the ill effects of suburbs in the article Communities Learn the Good Life Can Be a Killer.

On the environment and health:

[In a healthy environment] “people who are young, elderly, sick or poor can meet their life needs without getting in a car.

People who walk more weigh less and live longer. People who are fit live longer. People who have friends and remain socially active live longer. We don’t need to prove all of this.

On clearing of slums in the 19th century:

We’ve become the victims of our own success. By living far from where we work, we reduced crowding and improved the quality of our air and water, which drove down rates of infectious disease.” [But as people have moved farther and farther from where they work, shop and socialize, the rates of chronic diseases have soared.]

On children:

Children who grow up in suburbia can’t meet their life needs without getting a ride somewhere. The average teen in suburbia says it’s boring.”

When there is nearly nothing within walking distance to interest a young person and it is near-lethal to bicycle, he or she must relinquish autonomy — a capacity every creature must develop just as much as strength and endurance.

We’ve engineered physical activity out of children’s lives. Only a quarter of the children in California can pass a basic fitness test, and two in seven volunteers for the military can’t get in because they’re not in good enough physical condition.

Health happens in neighborhoods, not doctors’ offices.

Dr. Richard J. Jackson, professor and chairman of environmental health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles

Communities Learn the Good Life Can Be a Killer, By JANE E. BRODY


the case for urban government
August 1, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities, Ghettos | Tags: , , , , ,

Along Hosur Road on the way from downtown Bangalore to the affluent neighborhood called Koramangala is a river which is really more of an open sewer.  You have to hold your breath to get past it.  I’m not sure if it was built for waste or it just happened that way, but I was told that it was meant to be covered, which hasn’t happened yet.  Seeing this sewer / river and others like it in India made me think that India needs martial law to accomplish some basic civic needs.  For instance, to protect its water ways, fresh and salt, for basic housing, for basic health and children’s aid, and perhaps even to counter corruption etc.

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turf wars
June 24, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, fear, Ghettos | Tags: , ,

From Lapham’s Quarterly

June 21, 2011, 5:41 pm
Filed under: fear, Ghettos, Suburbs | Tags: ,

I watched on Youtube consumate tech pitchman Jobs making his case for the new spaceship Apple headquarters at the Cupertino city council chamber.  He was in jeans, in charge, self effacing.  The city council was deferential, pandering, placating and more than a bit pathetic.

The clear take away was Apple pays taxes and you, Cupertino need to like that or we have the option to take our sexy building and our taxes somewhere else.  To Jobs it was a  formality.  The starstruck council members lobbed a few softballs to the superstar but mostly cleared their agendas of any real substantive public minded questions.

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