In this article, "Obesity Linked to Newer, Less Walkable Neighborhoods," another excuse is given for being overweight. Unfortunately, I live in an old neighborhood, built well before 1950 and we have everything we need within walking distance. I brought this topic up in a current events group at the nursing home, which I work at. I asked the residents what was important to them when buying a home? The answers they gave were important to them mostly because they grew up in a time when families were lucky to have a car. Now, we live in a society where most families have a car for each driving member of the family. What used to be important, such as living near your place of employment, church, store, schools, etc., seems to be much less important than living in bigger, newer houses.
I love my old house. I love my old neighborhood with many sidewalks buckling from tree roots and where each house is unique with different colors, designs and tastes displayed on each block. When we bought our house, we had a few items that were on our wish list. We didn't want to live on a corner lot: too much shoveling. We wanted two bathrooms: hers and hers?? We wanted at least three bedrooms: who knew we'd need more...we do have 5, but only use 3 as bedrooms right now. We wanted a nice yard: our backyard is a lot and a half. We wanted a workable kitchen: finally after 8 years. We wanted to pay under $100,000: got a bargain from the family of the man that lived there.
I suppose we did discuss needing to live near shopping, church, work, etc., but that was definitely not high on our list. Now, that we live in our neighborhood, I am grateful for the "walkability" as I am able to take walks to church, the library, the post office, the gas station/convenience store, and through the fair park. Glad we have sidewalks, and also glad I'm not on that corner lot ;)
Do you have sidewalks and is "walkability" important to you?