This paper details the health costs of urban sprawl and puts into the sphere of urban planning one of the important public health issues of our time, lack of exercise and obesity. However as we all know the impact of sprawl is much wider than this for paucity of public transport brings social isolation and depression. The high cost of housing is determining that new houses are on cheap land out in the donga built by developers at the behest of governments which want more people. As a profession we should not be divorced from such matters for they affect the public health
One of the authors of this paper is Peter Newman, is a member of the DEA Scientific Advisory Committee.
The paper gives us some idea of the work going on in another discipline which if we care to study it has many implications for health and the advance (or deterioration) of social society. Furthermore there are significant green house implications. Like many other government decisions cost cutting on the product leaves others with the tab be it health, cost of living or green house emissions. These matters are complicated; the worry is that many politicians will not grasp the issues as they fail to do with other complex systems like the River Murray or climate change science. As indicated by Garnaut, you have to have a read of this paper!
We thank the Environmental Design Guide for provision of the link to this article.