Posts filed under ‘Health/Wellness’

10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles

A dedicated bicycle lane in Durham, New Hampshire

Drivers, some of whom view the nation’s roadways as their exclusive domain, are having to contend with growing numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bicyclists, who are largely focused on maneuvering through vehicle traffic and not getting sideswiped on shoulderless streets, sometimes don’t realize how they imperil pedestrians.

People traveling by foot often feel under siege from both speeding cars and unpredictable bicycles.

Like many street-level conflicts, this one is about territory. Who owns the streets?

The solution (and key to reducing frustration and preventing actual injury) is to share the streets by providing a space for each group. Recent research shows that bicycle-friendly projects are even good for people who will never ride a bike. Here’s how:

Read 10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles by Jay Walljasper at AARP.

May 15, 2017 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2)

oil-spillAs long as you and I consume oil, we make oil nastiness possible in the most basic way. Our money, and how we spend it, is an extension of our values, our intent, our convictions. If we don’t consume the oil, then, yes, someone else might. But when we participate in the ugly world of oil by consuming its products, we not only make it profitable, we give the whole craziness our implicit consent. Our efforts to change this are not useless drops in the bucket. Paradigm shifts most often happen first within small subgroups that eventually form enough critical mass to cause large-scale cultural change.

Now I know you’re not going to shed your junk miles, move to a ten-minute neighborhood or replace all your flights with trains tomorrow. It may, in fact, take you years to squeeze the oil out of your travel. I suggest for 2017 that you adopt the task as a kind of hobby, (after all, we don’t mind spending time and money on our hobbies) and get creative, flexible and even adventurous about the options available. You may be surprised by the life benefits that cheap oil has been hiding from you.

Read Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2) by Karen Lynn Allen at Musings.

May 1, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention

green leaf breaking through crack in concrete

One of the biggest challenges for many societies in the 21st century is mental health. In addition to the incalculable human cost of pain, distress and heartbreak, it has also become a huge economic cost.

The World Economic Forum report ‘The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases’ revealed that mental health issues are the single largest source of health care costs, more than cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, or diabetes.

At the same time that demand for services is increasing, austerity measures are exerting downward pressure on budgets. Communities everywhere will need creative ways to address mental health, and the associated spiralling costs.

Sharing and collaboration opens up incredible opportunities for strengthening individual and community resilience. Those participating in or monitoring sharing activity know this, usually anecdotally. But what if we could measure the benefits to people and societies?

Read Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention by Sharon Ede at Post Growth.

April 12, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

New Years Resolutions for a Strong Citizen

taking-stockOur hope is that over the course of this year, we will practice living our values more fully, save money to invest in improving our neighborhood, make our home, garden, and neighborhood more resilient and antifragile. So far, Frugality Month is off to a good start. It’s hard—really hard—but when you see your savings rate soar you realize how quickly you could be saving for that business venture, home, or real estate project.

This is a bit of a departure from the typical Strong Towns terrain, but in our movement, getting the “right answer” or understanding the problem is only half the battle. If we are not able to change our own behaviors to respond to our predicament, if we only ask what hypothetical “other people” should be doing differently… we’re never going to get there. We need to develop a practical path to becoming stronger citizens, for our families, neighborhoods, and cities.

Read New Years Resolutions for a Strong Citizen by Seth Zeren at Strong Towns.

February 13, 2017 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

What kind of housing do aging boomers need?

late-boomers-jpgI believe the obsession with wide doors with lever handles and corridors connecting the garage to the house is misplaced. If you look at data from the study Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035, household activities (the blue line) includes driving, food shopping, taking medication and meal prep — and they are the first to go, hitting 65 percent of the over-80 crowd, twice the rate of the mobility issues like walking and getting out of bed. Yet these houses are designed with big garages, wide corridors and giant kitchens, and they’re located so that people must drive to go food shopping. There’s something wrong with this picture.

Read What kind of housing do aging boomers need? by Lloyd Alter at MNN

January 11, 2017 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Uptake In Cycling Benefits Local Economies

tdl327c

It’s well established that increases in cycling modal share create a multiplier effect in population health improvements and reduced health care costs. Yet the economic effects don’t seem to be as well accepted, despite quinquennial study updates in places like Québec, published by MTQ and Vélo Québec.  It’s good to see other studies from other regions add to that evidence.  Here, BBC Research reports on Colorado, where cycling events and tourism add $1.6 billion annually to the state economy. That’s why Bike Friendly Business Areas and paved shoulders are so important in the larger economic picture.

Read Uptake In Cycling Benefits Local Economies by Alan Metcalfe at Brockville Active Mobility Matters.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this link!

November 28, 2016 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

City plans for better service for seniors

jordan-annThe City of Cornwall is taking steps to make Cornwall a more senior friendly community.

This was one priority identified by City Council in its Strategic Plan which was updated earlier this year.

Building on this, over 700 Cornwall seniors were consulted to determine what the City could do to meet this objective. Through the consultation process, suggestions for a Senior Friendly Implementation Plan were formed. A common concern of Cornwall seniors was a need for the consolidation of information about opportunities, programs and services specific to seniors.

To address this concern, and as part of a new grant from the Provincial Government, Jordan Ann Kevan de Haan has been hired as Cornwall’s Senior Friendly Community Liaison Officer.

Read City plans for better service for seniors at the Seaway News.

November 14, 2016 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

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