From the dawn of the industrial age, at least, cities have been seen as a menace to human health. Crowded, dirty, dangerous; centers of industrial waste and crime. Health, and the healthy life, were elsewhere: in tidy suburbs and the rosy-cheeked, pastoral countryside.
But recently, all that folk wisdom is being challenged. Suburbs have become the overweight empire of the automobile. Rural America has its own problems with poverty and health care.
And urban health is booming. The average New Yorker now lives longer than the average American.
This hour On Point: Role reversal and the boom in urban health.
Clive Thompson, writer for New York magazine and author of this week's cover story "Why New Yorkers Last Longer"
Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences
This program aired on August 15, 2007.