The Walking Revolution
Watch the full-length documentary here.
Our cities were once designed on a human scale. As more and more people took to the roads, the suburbs quickly became the new frontier. The result: urban sprawl so expansive it could no longer be walked in a single day. The impact on the human body has been devastating. Our days are spent sitting at our desk, in our cars and on the couch. We were not built to sit, but to walk. After 75 years of planning that produces a sedentary lifestyle, a radical redesign of our cities and open space has begun. Parks and paths are making a comeback to create truly walkable communities through partnerships between residents, businesses, developers, municipalities, urban planners and health care providers. The health benefits of walking are abundant. A regular walking routine of 30-minutes a day, five days a week can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, depression, even some cancers. Take 30 minutes to watch the film, then take a 30 minute walk. It will be the best hour of your day.
American dreams of real estate and transportation
Throughout the 20th century, real estate and transportation made for a powerful mix that propelled our economy and the American Dream into the hands of large parts of the population. While it took our communities less than a century to make that shift, what happened to our bodies after evolving for thousands of years on our own two feet was severe.
The human body
Raised in industrialized societies with little need to move, the human body is now paying a heavy price. Our bodies are mismatched to an artificial environment of comforts dooming us to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
Labeled nothing short of a pandemic by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Harvard Medical School, conditions caused or enabled by inertia and an immobile lifestyle (diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, depression, asthma, some cancers) are now responsible for 50% of all healthcare dollars spent in this country. How can we solve this dilemma?
Re-engineering our cities
After too many decades of planning our cities and communities around automobiles the country is slowly reversing this trend. Walkable neighborhoods – often in previously neglected downtown areas across the nation – have replaced the suburbs in popularity and value. The public’s awareness of the signiﬁcant health beneﬁts of walking as a habit-forming, entry-level physical activity is growing. As we evolve from being car-centric to a walking, biking and public transportation-friendly society, we are re-engineering our cities across the nation.
Re-focusing our society
As a result, we are witnessing a resurgence of public parks, a resurgence of public transportation as an incentive for inner city living and the deployment of corporate walking programs for employees as part of their beneﬁts package. The long-term impact on local economies, overall health of the population and livability of our communities cannot be overestimated: This is the dawn of a new era comparable to the arrival of clean piped water in our metropolitan areas or the dedication of 800 acres of prime real estate in the heart of Manhattan for the creation of Central Park in the 1850’s.