A person’s postal code can be a more reliable determinant of health than their genetic code. The many factors that determine our physical, mental, and social well-being converge in the places we live our lives. Placemaking can improve public health by building community, shifting behavior, and providing public access to resources like fresh food and greenery.
Surgeon General Murthy announced a national campaign to encourage Americans to walk more and make all communities safer and easier for walking. The landmark report is based on definitive medical evidence that moderate physical exercise boosts your health cuts your chances of diabetes, dementia, depression, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and high blood pressure by 40 percent or more.
Both in the U.S. and globally, issues like poverty, income disparity, racism and poor quality of life are major risk factors for ill health and persistent health inequalities. Many of these challenges are directly related to how our public spaces are designed and operated.
Little exercise and poor diets are not just serious problems on foreign battlefields but here at home for people of all ages, according to a delegation of public health experts meeting with Minnesota citizens during the 4th annual Placemaking residency. The event, which sparked discussion of looming health issues across the Twin Cities, was sponsored by the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation in partnership with more than 50 local organizations.