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Urban sprawl may have a negative effect on life expectancy

Shima Hamidi with students

Forget safety in numbers: Urban sprawl may be killing us, literally. A study by a UTA urban researcher shows a correlation between sprawl and decreased life expectancy in the U.S., despite what we spend on health care.

Shima Hamidi—an assistant professor in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs—and two directors of the National Institutes of Health published their research in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

"What the study shows is that the United States is not among the countries with the highest levels of life expectancies despite the highest levels of expenditures on health care," says Dr. Hamidi. "Changes in the ways we shape our cities and neighborhoods have to be made to address this challenge."

Research Vice President Duane Dimos believes Hamidi's study is particularly significant to the Metroplex. "North Texas is quickly approaching megacity status. With that size must come alternative ways of looking at basics like transportation and construction."

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