Development on the Prices Highway at Wolli Creek. Notice how it is built right to the footpath boundary on the Princes Highway. It would have been much better if there was a green line if trees dividing the building form the highway.

Housing development on the Princes Highway at Wolli Creek built right to the footpath boundary, as is common practice. It would have been much better and healthier for the residents if there was a green line of trees dividing the building from the highway.

Medical journal ‘The Lancet’ released research that found that dementia is more common in people who live near main roads.  See – http://bit.ly/2ja2Hgh

The research was performed in Ontario, Canada.   6.6 million people were tracked from 2002 to 2012.  It was found that dementia rates rose in those people who lived close to busy roads.  This should make the government rethink their current push to build high-rise housing along major traffic thoroughfares such as Parramatta Road & the Princes Highway.

The researchers found that –

  • People who live within 50 metres of a main road had a 7% higher risk of developing dementia.
  • People who live within 50-100 metres of a main road had a 4% higher risk of developing dementia.
  • People who live within 101-200 metres of a main road had a 2% higher risk of developing dementia.
  • People who live more than 200 metres of a main road had no increase in risk of developing dementia.

“While the study only highlights an association between the two, air pollution experts said it opened up “a crucial global health concern for millions of people” and warranted further investigation to see if preventative measures could be found.”

I’d suggest increasing the urban forest, especially street trees.  For new high-rise development, instead of building right up to the footpath, space be left to create a green barrier of trees between the building & the street. Not only would this look better & create more attractive streetscapes, but the trees would help trap fine particulate matter, thereby creating a healthier environment for everyone.

It’s pretty simple really.  We do not have to create an unhealthy city unless we choose to.

 

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