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Scientists Discover That Nature Walks Are Great for Your Mental Health

Something as simple as taking a walk through the trees may lower depression.

Image via Wikimedia

Living in the city can be stressful. Living in the country: also stressful. Fact: life is stressful. So a group of scientists, in an endless quest to determine what can lower our stress, recently did a study and came up with a beautifully logical result: sometimes, simply taking a walk through nature can lower our stress. The more green spaces we see, the better we feel.

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Manslamming is How Men Dominate City Sidewalks

One woman’s brave fight against dudes walking right into everybody all the time

Getting body-checked as you step out onto a subway platform is part of the experience of living in a crowded urban center. But next time you’re nudging your way down a bustling downtown walkway and get shoulder-shoved by a fellow pedestrian, take a look at their face. Was it a man? Probably. Talk to most women and they’ll tell you from experience that men most frequently take up too much space on the sidewalk, completely unaware of the people around them just trying to get by.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecAN9zGq5e0

This post is brought to you by GOOD with support from The California Endowment.

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What happens when we redesign the human habitat to take walking out of daily life? Over 35 percent of Americans are now clinically obese. That's partly because of diet, but also because we've designed our cities for cars.

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An Urban Hiker's Guide to SF: Five Cool Spots to Explore on Foot

Last month GOOD San Francisco got people together to slow things down to the original mode of transportation—walking.


It’s easy to miss the hidden wonders of San Francisco in the daily bustle of the urban metropolis. Last month, the GOOD San Francisco team got people together to slow things down to the original mode of transportation—walking.

More 50 participants from all over the Bay Area embarked on a three-mile urban hike. We partnered with Field Trip, a location-based mobile app that helps you engage with the physical world around you, by exposing intriguing, sometimes quirky, and always interesting tidbits about your environment. Together, we learned about hidden spots and posted signs prompting our fellow San Franciscans to explore this great city by foot. Below, five cool spots we discovered.

An urban garden with a 86-ton boulder
Located at 199 Fremont Street, this urban garden is a collaboration between a landscape architect, conceptual sculptor Paul Kos, and poet Robert Hass. A poem from Hass can be found engraved on the garden wall. Sierra granite is seen throughout the landscape, as is a 86-ton boulder, smaller boulders, and rough blocks at sitting height, while a fountain drips into a circular basin. If you enter through Fremont Street, you'll find a beautiful collection of birch trees.

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And The Most Walkable City In San Diego County Is...

WalkSanDiego achieved a major milestone last fall with the release of the Regional Walk Scorecard

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WalkSanDiego achieved a major milestone last fall with the release of the Regional Walk Scorecard. Cities throughout San Diego County were rated based on three factors: 1) policies and infrastructure that support walking; 2) the number of collisions involving pedestrians; and 3) data from more than 1,500 walk audits conducted by volunteers armed with WalkSanDiego’s new “BestWALK” phone app. The Scorecard is sponsored by Sharp Health Plan.
The Results\n
National City edged out La Mesa and Solana Beach for the highest score—for several reasons. First, National City's recently updated General Plan includes strong policies and plans favoring walking, biking, and transit use. In addition, the city is laid out in a typical pre-war grid pattern—a dense network of lower volume streets and a mix of destinations and transit stops within walking distance of most residences. A high number of residents who walk or use transit to get to work also helped boost their score.
La Mesa also has a walkable street pattern and detailed policies that will increase walkability in the coming years. In addition, La Mesa has aggressively implemented pedestrian improvements in key areas. Solana Beach, the third-ranked city, scored in the middle of the pack on policies and implementation and had the lowest percentage of walk/transit commuters. However, Solana Beach streets received high marks by BestWALK volunteers and the low number of pedestrian collisions in the region has raised its overall score.

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