Turns out, public spaces are good for us. A ten-year study, conducted by the University of Melbourne, found that parks, beaches and even shopping areas increase the health and wellbeing of communities by increasing walkability.

During the study, the physical activity of residents of new housing developments increased 5-6 minutes per week for every local shop and 21 minutes for every recreational facility such as a park.

This reinforces the notion that investments in the public infrastructure and spaces of cities are investments in the overall health of communities. This is a great reminder to get involved in local politics and advocate for public space. Your life may depend on it.

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Cat Johnson is a content strategist and teacher helping community builders create strong brands. A longtime writer, marketing pro and coworking leader, Cat is the founder of Coworking Convos and