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  • A Better Life Is In Store For A Child Who Grows Up In A Walkable City: Study

    According to research, people in walkable cities are healthier and more socially-connected.
    by Kate Borbon .
A Better Life Is In Store For A Child Who Grows Up In A Walkable City: Study
  • Every parent wants their child to be a successful and high-earning adult in the future. And, according to a new study by researchers from American universities, living in a walkable city can help increase your little one’s chances of achieving this.

    Published in the journal American Psychologist, the study by psychologists at Columbia University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluated the effect of growing up in a walkable community on children’s economic mobility.

    The research made use of the data developed by economist Raj Chetty and his team, according to CityLab. Their data covered more than “9 million Americans born between 1980 and 1982 and gauges the probability that children from households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution will reach the top fifth by age 30.”

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    How does growing up in a walkable community help our kids in the future? One obvious reason is people in these communities are less dependent on cars, CityLab reports. And the savings add up if they can walk to their place of work. The Washington Post adds the reduced need for car trips contributes to less air and noise pollution.

    The Washington Post defines a walkable city as a community that has “safe, designated areas for people to walk or bike to work, dining, shopping and entertainment venues.”

    The positive effects of walkable neighborhoods on people have long been documented. These communities promote more physical activity through walking, which then helps people avoid obesity. As a result, people who live in walkable neighborhoods are healthier.


    “Walkable communities provide the opportunity to incorporate more activity into everyday life, by walking to and from work, taking a stroll to a local restaurant for dinner or running errands on foot,” The Washington Post reports.

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    CityLab also says, “Healthier people with higher levels of happiness and well-being tend to achieve more academically and are likely to find better jobs and are more productive at work.

    “Walking also stimulates thinking and creativity — factors which are associated with both higher levels of well-being and employment in higher-paying knowledge jobs.”

    Finally, HuffPost writes that walkable neighborhoods promote more social interaction and help produce a stronger sense of community among its residents since they get to see one another more frequently every day. Living in a walkable neighborhood might help you be more able to form connections with other members of your community and also allow your child to do the same.

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