Online Program

Transportation planning for healthy communities: Best practices from regions and states

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Lindsey Morse, AICP, Transportation Planning, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (US DOT), Cambridge, MA
Public health and transportation practitioners are increasingly recognizing the relationship between the built environment and the physical, social, and mental health of communities. As one important component of the built environment, transportation has a significant influence on the physical activity and well-being, safety, and ability of community members to access destinations that are essential to a healthy lifestyle. Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the primary units for transportation planning at the regional level, and State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) both have the responsibility to work collaboratively with public health and other partners to plan multimodal transportation systems within their respective jurisdictions. This research uses MPO and State DOT case studies to test and refine a conceptual framework that transportation and health professionals can use to successfully incorporate health into the transportation planning process, from goals to funding to performance measures. The analysis of the case studies demonstrates that although each transportation agency may have a unique context, approach, and set of actors; the planning processes, strategies, and challenges are very similar. Partnerships, leveraging of grants, building internal technical capacity, and an emphasis on incremental change and stakeholder and staff engagement are common themes. This research provides public health professionals an opportunity to better understand and access the transportation planning realm so that together the fields can effectively consider the health impacts and benefits of transportation projects to help achieve healthy communities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Name the major health topics that intersect with transportation. Identify within the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning process the decisions points where health can best be integrated. Describe successful strategies and technical methods public health and transportation professionals can use to consider health within transportation planning.

Keyword(s): Planning, Decision-Making

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a lead author for the Federal publication “Metropolitan Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities” and am involved in several other ongoing transportation and health research with the FHWA. I received an undergraduate Certificate in Healthy Policy, worked on public health and health policy projects for the RAND Corporation, completed a Masters in Urban Planning, received certification from the American Institute for Certified Planners, and have been working in transportation planning for over four years.
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.