If Colorado communities were looking for one more reason to shift towards transit-oriented development, they may have found it.
A recent University of Colorado Denver study shows that cities that have denser, more compact living conditions are likely to have lower disease rates and obesity rates.
The study analyzed the street network configuration of 24 California cities with populations between 30,000 and just over 100,000, and looked at the frequency of street intersections as a measure of urban compactness. Then, it used health-survey data from a sampling of 42,000 to 51,000 adults for the years 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 to see how the intersection designs affected rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma.
The study found that the more intersections, the lower the obesity rates at the neighborhood level, and the lower obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and disease rates at the city level.
What Transit Oriented Development seeks to do is place compact clusters of homes businesses near transit stations, while placing an importance on building a more environmentally-sustainable city infrastructure.