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Active Living Means Walkable Communities

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Getting kids into better shape was the focus of today's meeting of the Active Living Research Conference in downtown San Diego. KPBS reporter Tom Fudge has more.

The problem of childhood obesity has many causes. But inactivity is one of them. And that problem has increased as American cities have become more suburban. The active living research conference focused on that dilemma as academics and urban planners gathered at the US Grant Hotel. Gordon Price is a conferee, and a former city councilman from Vancouver, British Columbia. He says city streets used to be for people before they were given up to cars.

Price: Pedestrians were just used to crossing whenever they wanted when they wanted. And in a conflict with motor vehicles, they lost.

As a result, few American kids walk or bike to school today. Jim Sallis is a San Diego State professor who has studied walkable neighborhoods. He says communities that can make their streets safe for children will reap the benefits of better health. Tom Fudge, KPBS news.

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