Monthly Archives: January 2010

Does mixed-income housing amelioriate poverty?

One of the most troubling features of the way North American cities have developed in the past quarter century is social isolation, as our own desires and the dynamics of the real estate business sort us into spaces exclusive to ever-narrower slices of humanity. Separate spaces for people of different incomes, places reserved exclusively for the elderly, spaces from which children are barred, and more.

There is much to worry about in this trend, but most worrisome of all is the social isolation of the poor – the formation of neighbourhoods largely or wholly populated by people who live there only because they cannot afford to live elsewhere; ghettos, defined by poverty and often race, and marked by deteriorating public services and facilities, as well as limited opportunities for jobs, recreation and education.

Continue reading

Are suburban neighbourhoods bad for your health?

A growing body of research suggests that urban sprawl, in addition to being bad for cities, the environment and agriculture, may also take a toll on your health. For example, in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, one article reported that higher levels of urban sprawl were associated with increased response time for emergency medical services and a higher probability of delayed ambulance arrival. Here’s what one of the authors of the article had to say:

Continue reading