Mind & Body

Moving To An Older City Might Be Good For You

A 2014 study found that, in a sampling of 24 medium-sized Californian cities, the cities with more intersections had reliably lower disease rates. City design was correlated with conditions from obesity to high blood pressure, and researchers believe that because older designs tend to be more compact and put their streets on a grid, they encourage more walking and biking. Learn more about how your hometown might affect your health in the videos below.

Older Cities Might Be Better For You

The science of why a city full of intersections is a good thing.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Older cities tend to have compact grid patterns, as opposed to more modern "tree" patterns. 00:24

  2. A 2014 study found that cities with more intersections had lower rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 00:51

  3. Neighborhoods with large retail stores had obesity and diabetes rates that were 14% and 25% higher, respectively, than neighborhoods without the stores. 01:02

Why People In Big Cities Walk Faster

It's not psychological overstimulation.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The bigger the city, the faster the walking. 00:00

  2. The real reason is because people in big cities are younger, and can walk faster. 01:15

How To Make An Attractive City

There's a science to what make a city pretty — or pretty ugly.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Humans gravitate towards order, but not too much order—variety within order is one of the keys to an attractive city. 01:41

  2. People are drawn to narrow streets and the prospect of getting slightly lost in charming cities. 06:48

  3. To create a beautiful city, you most likely need strict laws governing the height, width, and layout of the buildings, instead of a construction free-for-all. 12:41

Written by Curiosity Staff January 22, 2016

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