The way we live in our cities

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• During 2007, the human species became predominantly urban. • Australia is highly urbanised, and health varies within Australian cities. • Australian urban life is characterised by sedentariness, excess food intake, reliance on cars for transport, a high level of exposure to media and marketing messages, and a consumer culture. • These characteristics are linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, chronic respiratory disease, injury, depression and anxiety. • The evolution of cities has been characterised as a four-stage process: poverty, industrial, consumption and eco-city. Each stage but the last has defining health disorders. • Transition to healthy and sustainable cities requires infrastructure investment in new urban areas (including mass transit, education and health services), better conditions for walking and cycling, access to healthy food and encouragement of suburban economic development. • There is a role for everyone in the transition to healthy and sustainable cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-661
Number of pages4
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

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