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 writer and content strategist focused on coworking, collaboration and community. She's the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking space operators. Publications include Yes!