Environmental problems ranging from toxic waste to air pollution have long been recognized as having human health effects — but what about urban sprawl? A study released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sprawl creates or exacerbates many common health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. The report also blames sprawl for other negative health consequences, including deaths from flooding caused by filled-in wetlands and pedestrian fatalities on sidewalk-less, multi-lane roads. The report calls for the implementation of “smart growth” policies that redesign communities around people, not cars.
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