Designing For Conviviality And City Vitality In Portland

Authored by: Paddy Tillett

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

10.4324/9781315728261.ch41

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Abstract

Healthy and sustainable cities depend as much on the sustainability of businesses, services and of social structures as they depend on design of the physical environment. The key is to recognise interrelationships between these three provinces, and to use physical design in ways that support economic and social success over time. Related yet separate is the issue of the health of those who use the city. Three generational maladies of our era are obesity in children, sedentary adults and isolated seniors. All three classes benefit from urban environments in which almost everything that one needs is within walking distance, and from circumstances that make walking the preferred way to get around. Mixed age communities are being rediscovered as marketable options, with a burgeoning population of capable seniors taking a more active role in the well-being of others – and incidentally enriching their own lives. These are simple values that Ebenezer Howard strove to recover from pre-industrial living patterns. The perversion of his garden city concept into vehicle-centric urban monocultures remains a caustic lesson to every urban planner.

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