3131.0 Getting from here to there: Promoting health and environmental justice through transportation policy

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM
Substantial evidence regarding the impact of poor transportation infrastructure on health disparities has existed for some time. As our local and national leaders debate on how to repair and/or expand the Nation’s transportation infrastructure, the need for coalitions that advocate for equitable transportation policies that affect human health is critical. One coalition that set forth to address the impact of transportation policy on health is the Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership (STEP). Aware of the adverse health consequences due to poor regional transportation infrastructure, STEP initiated a partnership with Tufts University Schools of Medicine and Engineering as well as with partners in Chinatown and Boston Public Housing to conduct a 5-year, community-based research study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. STEP expanded their efforts to the state level by working with state legislators on the narrative that became part of the state Transportation Reform legislation in 2009. This lead to the creation of the interagency “Healthy Transportation Compact” whose responsibility is to make transportation decisions that balance the needs of all transportation users, expands mobility, improves public health, promotes sustainability and a cleaner environment. In the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, a coalition known as Upstream Public Health works with local transportation planners to adopt a set of evidence-based principles that guide the process in which transportation projects are planned, prioritized, and implemented. These principles, known as the Transportation Health Equity Principles, are tailored to and reflect each community’s specific needs. Upstream Public Health also works with local grassroots environmental justice organizations to train citizen activists to participate in the regional Transit Investment Plan (TIP) update. The TIP is a five-year, rolling plan for which Upstream Public Health is building community capacity to stay engaged in the planning process. In today’s global economy, the policy process that guides international port development and expansion rarely includes the residents who live in these port communities. This presentation will also examine this issue within the context of how community organizing efforts continue to actively seek policies that could reduce the health impact from global trade.
Session Objectives: 1) Explain the critical local, regional, state and federal roles in addressing the negative health impact of transportation infrastructure in communities. 2) Describe resources and partner organizations to assist with transportation health equity advocacy. 3) Identify opportunities to reduce health disparities and promote equity in federal transportation policy through transportation advocacy at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
Arthur M. Wendel, MD, MPH and Kathleen Dolan, MHS

11:30 AM
Promoting health in transportation and global trade policy through community research and participation
Andrea Hricko, MPH, Martha Matsuoka, PhD, Robert Gottlieb and Carla Truax

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

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus, Trade and Health Forum, Disability

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Environment