Transit struggles with North America’s move downtown Millennials’ desire to live near their workplaces strains cities from Toronto to Los Angeles. The new desire to live — and work — downtown is overwhelming the transit systems of major cities across North America, says a new report by commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. “Toronto isn’t alone,” says Michael Caplice, senior managing director of Toronto office leasing for the global real estate firm. In a 10-city study released Monday, Cushman finds that the explosion of new offices and condos in downtown cores is taking place from Mexico City to New York, Chicago and Washington, driven largely by millennials keen to live close to their work. “These are challenges that are now in many ways global,” added Caplice, pointing to the “sweeping transformation” of urban cores that has also taken place over the last decade in China and India’s biggest cities. “As more people, including empty nesters, heed the siren call of downtown living, city governments, developers and businesses will continue to be pressured by the need to reduce commute times to support the fight for talent, improve productivity and enhance the overall experience of urban life,” says the report. “Those (cities) that manage their growing pains the best will strengthen their positions as world-class cities.”
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DO IT OFTEN AND FEEL THE DIFFERENCE Cycling is a simple way to stay fit and healthy at any age, or to shed those extra winter pounds. At a relaxed pace you can bike 3.5 km in just 15 minutes and burn off some calories. It’s so easy it almost feels like cheating. Thirty minutes of moderate cycling per day can deliver these significant health benefits: 50% reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease, adult diabetes, and obesity 30% reduced risk of developing hypertension Overall improved health (with no gym fees!) EASY ON YOUR BOD Cycling is easier on the body than many aerobic sports. Unlike jogging, cycling is low-impact and doesn’t put stress on your knees. In fact, as long as you use correct gearing, cycling can gently strengthen your knees and keep them limber. GOOD FOR YOUR HEAD Regular exercise can help you manage stress better, and the sunshine and fresh air can boost your mood and energy level. Many people find that cycling is as good for their mental well-being as for their physical health. BETTER FOR YOUR LUNGS You are actually exposed to less pollution cycling along a busy road than if you’re trapped inside a car. Even better, many cycling routes are a pleasant distance away from heavy traffic, and pollution levels drop off dramatically even a few metres away from a busy road. GETTING STARTED If you’re not used to cycling, you might experience some muscle fatigue and sleepiness at first. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your muscles get stronger, the hills seem to shrink, and your energy level rises. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR If you’re not used to moderate levels of physical activity or have a family history of heart problems, consult your doctor before you start cycling. SPINNING IS THE SECRET Riding in too high a gear (when it’s “hard” to pedal) leads to muscle pain and knee injuries. “Spinning” – that is, staying in lower (“easier”) gear – will allow you to ride comfortably through the years.