A study from the University of Miami looked at the health effects of living in auto-dependent western Miami-Dade County as opposed to the much more walkable urban core found that living way out in the highway-laced burbs is waaaay unhealthy. Although this, of course, was not the first study to determine that sitting in cars all the time will make you fat, unhealthy, and (with gas prices these days) poor and that living out in the burbs people just don't walk, it may have been the first to localize it to Miami-Dade County.
The research revealed that each one-mile increase in distance from the Urban Development Boundary [the western limit of urban development in Dade County] corresponded to an 11 percent increase in the number of minutes of purposive walking (walking to get from place to place, such as from home to the corner store), whereas each one-mile increase in distance from the urban core corresponded to a five percent decrease in the amount of purposive walking. The farther away from the downtown core people moved, the less they walked. · New study reveals health hazards of building farther west in Miami-Dade [UM]