It may be going too far to pin the blame for obesity, depression, and the breakdown of communities on poor land-use patterns. But it's hard to avoid such a conclusion when sprawl and car dependency keep turning up at the scene of the crime. It can't be a coincidence.
Safe, walkable neighborhoods are not just an amenity, they're a matter of life or death. They create environments where we can live active, engaged lives. And more walking brings more social interaction, more time outdoors, more recreation, more smiles and more "life" in every sense.
Architects and builders are intimately involved in what gets built but often powerless to influence the context in which it gets built, and the context really counts.
(If suburbia has one good angle, though, it may be from above. This photograph is from a collection of amazing aerial shots of suburban housing developments by Christoph Gielen.) --B.D.S.