Soon after starting a family, we moved into our first house in Montclair, which was across the street from a park. And although the playground was in need of a facelift back then, the park had a paved path, a climbing tree, a baseball diamond, a big pond, a fountain and a few weeping bushes that kids could tuck themselves into for hide-and-seek, making it a premiere destination for neighborhood strolls. Even before the playground renovation made Edgemont Park the place to be with toddlers, it was super easy to meet neighbors and potential playmates for my twins. This is one of the most obvious advantages of a Walkable Suburb - people are out walking with their kids and usually happy to socialize.
But now and then I stumble upon less obvious benefits of living in a walkable environment, like the one I came across recently about walkability and brain health. It seems that a recent pilot study showed that living in a walkable town - a place where you can navigate on foot - may foster better cognition abilities as we age. Specifically, the article said, "the sample of older adults who lived in more 'walkable' neighborhoods performed much better on cognition tests." This is an area that researchers are just beginning to explore, so I wouldn't delete that Lumosity app just yet, but there are early indicators that Walkability is not just for kids anymore!