253912 Leveraging transportation investments to advance public health: Global evidence review and recent experiences in cities of the Americas and Europe

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:10 AM

Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH , Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability, Department of Public Health, City San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Substantial evidence from multiple disciplines informs us that investments and choices in the transportation sector have profound effects on the level of physical activity, morbidity and mortality from chronic disease, and unintentional injuries and fatalities. The avoidable health burden of the system is further associated with significant economic costs. According to the recent WHO "Health in the Green Economy" study, infrastructure investments that shift transportation mode to walking, cycling and public transport provide health benefits that are more holistic and of a greater magnitude than improvements in vehicle technologies. These investments also can advance social and health equity for vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly, women, and lower-income households. Integrating measures of health performance into transportation planning and design processes, as well as health impact assessment, are two ways to leverage the activities and expenditures in the transportation sector on behalf of population health. This presentation identifies key domains and measures for integrating health performance indicators into transportation sector and illustrates examples of their application in local and regional transportation planning and policy making. We identify opportunities and needs for more integrated health and transportation sector coordination and collaboration.

While evidence on the health impacts of the transportation sector is substantial and evidence-based, the understanding of this knowledge by health professionals, and the translation of this knowledge into transportation sector policies, is much more limited. Currently, there are few established models of practice that allow public health professionals to use public health knowledge to inform and shape transportation policy, planning and practice.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Biostatistics, economics
Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify key evidence-based mechanisms through which transportation systems impact health, along with interventions that protect and promote health. Describe practical examples of the use of health performance indicators in the transportation sector to shape and inform inter-sectoral action for health. Assess the opportunities and needs for advancing cross-sector transportation and health coordination and collaboration to support healthier transportation policies and practices

Keywords: Population, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Occupational and Environmental Health for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and responsible for developing and implementing environmental health law and policy in San Francisco. My work involves routine coordination and collaboration with both private entities as well as multiple institutional sectors responsible for employment, housing, land use, transportation, and food resources. I am an expert in the practice of health impact assessment (HIA) and the development and application of public health indicators.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.