If you're like me, even a short summer getaway from the city, like to the mountains or shore, helps to calm your mind and strengthen your heart. Imagine if our cities were more like the natural places we visit--what beneficial impact could this have on our health? This question has special importance as it pertains to lower-income city-dwellers who can't afford to escape to a quieter place.
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The smart growth characteristics of these older neighborhoods make them terrific for the environment and for public health: they reduce transportation emissions by obviating driving trips and shortening those that people do take; they save land by keeping development compact and obviating additional increments of sprawl; they promote physical fitness and health with walkability.