5097.0 Creating Healthy Communities Through Transportation Policy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 10:30 AM
How we get around—in cars or by foot, on buses, bicycles, subways, or light rail—influences our way of life, our environment, and the vitality of our communities. Transportation determines where we live, work, shop, and enjoy leisure. It affects our stress levels and the time we spend with our children. Although most people don’t think of it as a key determinant of health, transportation has far-reaching implications for our risk of disease and injury. This panel will demonstrate that transportation policy is, in effect, health policy—and environment policy, food policy, employment policy, and metropolitan development policy, each of which bears on health independently and in concert with the others. The presenters will show that current transportation policies and the land use patterns they have inspired are at odds with serious health, environmental, and economic needs of our country, and of low-income communities and communities of color in particular. Although each presentation outlines solutions of particular relevance to its theme, collectively, they describe a framework for healthy, equitable transportation policy in America. The upcoming reauthorization of the nation’s most significant transportation legislation, the federal surface transportation bill, makes this a pivotal political moment to bring a broad convergence vision to transportation planning and investment. The health community must recognize this political time as an opportunity to create healthy communities through transportation venues. Transportation is not just as a way to move people and things around, but is a means to build healthy, opportunity-rich communities and provide the connections that allow everyone to participate and prosper. This panel session will highlight how health issues important to health such as injury prevention, healthy eating and chronic diseases are impacted by transportation policy and how low-income communities and communities of color particularly bare the burden of these impacts. The session will present the imperative for the health community to become knowledgeable and involved in transportation planning, as well as provide specific strategies to create healthy more equitable communities through transportation policy.
Session Objectives: Describe how transportation policy contributes to health disparities both directly and indirectly. Describe the relationship between food, transportation and health. Explain the links between injury, death and transportation planning and policy. Identify ways health professionals and advocates can get involved in transportation policy. List a minimum of eight ways transportation planning and policies impact health outcomes. Articulate the imperative for health involvement in transportation policy. Describe the surface transportation reauthorization bill and how it relates to health. Identify strategies to create more equitable and healthy communities through transportation policy.

11:30 AM

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)