14 August 2007

Why the rents are so militantly high

Now, I realize this post has nothing to do with Sierra Leone, poverty, healthcare in the third world, or with any of the countries we'll be visiting over the next year. And I also realize that the majority (though not all) of the people reading this will be the already-converted. But I found this fascinating.

Evidently, it pays to live in cities, New York City in particular. And not for all the reasons you might think. For example, according to this article, it's not just that we walk everywhere. It's that we walk, fast. (But, don't get me started on that). Or, it seems that people living in buildings built before 1973 are happier and therefore live longer. The article is long, and Sir Bradford-Hill's nine factors for causation aren't all met, but it's a very good read nonetheless. I won't belabor the points it makes.

The best line in the article, though—something that may seem counterintuitive to the sub- and ex-urbanites but makes perfect sense to us urban folk—is this: "When you’re jammed, sardinelike, up against your neighbors, it’s not hard to find a community of people who support you—friends or ethnic peers—and this strongly correlates with better health and a longer life."

1 comment:

Chris said...

Very interesting article! But I think the best line is this:

“Walking speed absolutely reflects health status,” Simonsick says. So when you irritatedly blow past a trio of ambling visitors from Ohio or Iowa on the subway platform, you’re not just being an obnoxious New Yorker. You’re demonstrating that you’re going to outlive them—and enjoy better health while they slowly degrade.