Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kids Who Walk and Bike to School "Least Likely to be Obsese"

According to a study of 1,700 Vermont teenagers, published in the journal Pediatrics, 29 percent were overweight or obese.  However, "As for walking or biking to school, Drake and his colleagues found those who commuted more than three days per week were least likely to be obese."  In terms of numbers, "Those who walked or biked to school four to five times per week were 33 percent less likely to have weight problems."   (You can find an abstract at this LINK  and a July 16 news report at this LINK). 

This is credible evidence that our prevailing development patterns--subdivisions on highways which make walking and biking to school unsafe and undesirable--are contributing significantly to what the American Academy of Pediatrics terms an "epidemic" of childhood obesity. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

City of Maitland Approves Form-Based Code for Downtown

On May 14, the City of Maitland, Florida approved a form-based code, creating a Downtown Maitland Zoning District for the area straddling U.S. 17-92.  Councilman Phil Bonus brought the motion and received the Council's unanimous approval.  You can see the pertinent ordinances as well as a draft Downtown Development Standards Manual at this LINK.  The Manual should help to improve the area's aesthetics.  The predictability resulting from the new Code should, over time, encourage badly-needed economic redevelopment.  Here's an image from the Manual: