Public Realm And Public Health In North American Cities

Reshaping cities to encourage and enable active travel

Authored by: Bruce McVean , Lucy Saunders

The Routledge Handbook Of Planning For Health And Well-Being

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138023307
eBook ISBN: 9781315728261
Adobe ISBN: 9781317542407


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This chapter explores the ways in which some US and Canadian (Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Washington) cities are reshaping their streets and public realm to meet a broad range of goals. These include creating sense of place, encouraging sustainable travel, tackling environmental challenges and improving the health of their population. City living is growing in popularity and there is increasing recognition of the importance of quality urban environments to attracting and retaining businesses, residents and visitors (Leinberger 2008). Cycling culture is also growing and this is being nurtured partly to tackle obesity and other public health challenges, but also reduce inequalities that arise in car dependent societies, and cut carbon emissions (Mapes 2009).

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