Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Disease outbreaks are shaping our cities. Public health issues have driven some of the most emblematic advances in urban planning. London’s drainage systems were developed in response to cholera outbreaks in the 19th century. In the US at the turn of the 20th century, public parks became common (though the probably ineffective way to provide people with cleaner air to protect them from diseases such as tuberculosis. Now, COVID-19 could have an influence on urban areas as well.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

The spread of COVID-19 in some of the world’s most populated cities has raised questions about density, the number of people living in a given urban area. Busy roads, houses, and public spaces make physical distances more difficult, raising the likelihood of contagion. This density criticism dates back to the late 19th century when some American civic leaders argued that disease and poverty resulted from crowded and unsanitary conditions in dense cities.

However, the suggestion that density is unhealthful is oversimplifying and deceptive when it comes to COVID-19. The results of our research show close to zero correlations between the density of 36 world cities (as calculated by people per square kilometer) and the rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In order to monitor COVID-19 dense megacities, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul, public health measures such as testing, touch tracing, isolation, and quarantine were implemented in a timely manner and coupled with physical distancing and wearing masks. These steps have been successful in controlling early outbreaks of the virus, despite high-density rises in the risk of infection.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

When it comes to assessing how vulnerable urban residents are to COVID-19, density is likely to be only one of the main factors. Rather the main problem is lack of room – both private living space and broader public space in the community. The top five most populated communities in the United Kingdom have seen 70% more COVID-19 cases than the five least populous neighborhoods, even after correcting for local deprivation. It’s not how many people live in a given place that matters, but the conditions in which they live.

Lowering population density would make health worse

In view of the above, we are troubled by recommendations to decrease urban density in favor of suburban living in an attempt to regulate COVID-19. Not only is urban density not a primary factor of COVID-19, but it also has health safety benefits.

Over 20 years of research indicates that higher population density is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. This is due in large part to residents in higher-density areas becoming more physically involved.

Their local areas are more “walkable,” which ensures that they can walk more frequently to nearby markets, schools, and other facilities. Reducing urban density would most likely have a net negative effect on health, raising the rates of non-communicable diseases that have just been listed.

Instead, lowering population density would raise the demand for transport. Private cars could be preferred over public transport in the future, as single occupancy trips decrease social interaction and reduce the risk of infection. This will, however, increase the risk of non-communicable diseases due to inactivity during car use, respiratory diseases due to air pollution, and injuries and fatalities due to road accidents.

Plus, suburban designs based on the use of cars are inequitable. The need to buy a car is a burden on people who cannot afford one (or do not want one). Lower-income households, single-car families, disabled people, and older adults who no longer drive will face greater inequity in accessing affordable housing, schooling, recreational facilities, and job opportunities.

Why urban density is good for health – even during a pandemic?

Seeking a Best Answer

A better way to protect health will be to give people more room to be involved in their communities, such as walking or cycling. This is likely to have a double benefit, both by decreasing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing any crowding in the streets and lowering the risk of deadly chronic diseases.
Woman’s cycles past the street art of a human wearing a respirator.

Ensuring more opportunities for outdoor physical activity in low-income areas will also minimize health inequity. Low-income families are more likely to live in overcrowded housing units that are emerging as COVID-19 infection hotspots. In crowded environments with a lack of personal space, it is almost difficult to follow the guidelines for self-isolation.

Low-income communities may also have fewer public open spaces that increase the problem of overcrowding – the risk of coronavirus infection may be up to 20 times higher indoors than outdoors. There is also a direct correlation between outdoor activity and a strong immune system.

Thus, local parks may provide respite and minimize exposure to infectious diseases for residents in crowded housing without private outdoor space. If the parks are not open, it will be necessary to allocate more road space for walking and cycling.

Some cities are already introducing temporary steps to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, such as relocating road space away from motor vehicles and lowering speed limits.

Multiple results indicate that we should not let COVID-19 lead to a decrease in the density of our cities. Yes, measures are required to minimise intense crowding, such as in the slums, and to provide people in every city with ample outdoor space for physical distance.

However, urban density is typically weakly connected to COVID-19 cases and deaths. Instead, it is an important component of walking societies that protect people from chronic diseases.

What’s the most populous city in the world?

Beneficial effects of bicycles on reducing urban problems

Beneficial effects of bicycles on reducing urban problems

Bicycles were invented in the 19th century and now there are around a billion of them all over the world. There are many reasons why the benefits of cycling as a clean and convenient mode of transport are of utmost importance and prove that cyclists are safer and healthier in the city.

Bicycle and city

Cycling is commonly regarded as a very effective and efficient form of transport over short and medium distances.
Bicycles have many advantages over motor vehicles, including daily exercise in cycling, better parking, easier access, and so on.
Cycling decreases fossil fuel consumption, reduces air or noise emissions, and substantially reduces traffic congestion.

This results in lower financial costs for both the consumer and society at large.
In many countries, bicycles are the most widely used forms of road transport.

This is achieved by setting engineering frameworks such as shielding cyclists from road riots and ease of manoeuvre at low speeds.

Enhance the quality of life

Beneficial effects of bicycles on reducing urban problems

Beneficial effects of bicycles on reducing urban problems

Bicycles boost the quality of life in two ways:
If it is provided with comfort and protection.
As it replaces smoking methods, particularly on short trips, it reduces public pollution and promotes public health.
From a global point of view, bicycles are the most secure mode of transport. It is worth noting that according to a study, every ten of thousands of bicycles does not emit as much pollution as an urban car.

Benefits of cycling

According to studies conducted independently in Australia and Europe, while bikers breathe two to three times as much as drivers, they consume fewer emissions than motor vehicle drivers.

Also according to a study, about 51% of travel by car is linked to distances of less than 7.5 km.

This means that shifting a large population of people to use bicycles has a large statistical population and would have positive effects on lowering emissions of toxins and air pollution.

Exposure to air pollution may appear to pose a danger to cyclists, though studies indicate that they are typically less exposed to particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and other contaminants. They’re the drivers of the cars.

As a result, when walking, people are less exposed to contaminants, but in the case of car occupants, the absorption of pollutants is higher due to the increased exposure period to pollutants, which is about 2 to 4 times.

Another benefit that cycling and of course, electrical cycling will offer to the people of the city is the ability of cycling to mitigate air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Beneficial effects of bicycles on reducing urban problems

Air pollution and Bicycle

Air pollution associated with road traffic is responsible for many diseases such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. It should be remembered that electric bicycles do not lead to greenhouse gas emissions.

Bicycles are also the best way to enhance the quality of the air in the community or on a regional scale.

Cycling must substitute a large portion of motor transport in order to achieve these objectives.

Research in Sweden, for example, indicates that if car drivers use bicycles for 30 minutes to get to work instead of vehicles, there is a 209% rise in the use of bicycles relative to the current situation.

This means that people are 7% less exposed to greenhouse gases, such as NOx, carbon dioxide and other toxins, which means saving 449 years of life in this nation.

In addition, noise and high density are among the negative consequences of the spread of the use of motor vehicles in any city.

In recent years, automobile traffic noise is an urban health threat that affects the growth of children in the city and raises the risk of heart attacks in adults. Cycling is very useful as an approach to minimise road noise and congestion.

The importance of walking