Public health and transportation professionals have a mutual interest in promoting and improving cycling and walking opportunities in Ontario, and as such are natural partners in this work. However, some challenges exist in intersectoral efforts, including different skills, expectations, and scenarios of practice. The purpose of this project is to undertake systematic analysis about ways to maximize public health and transportation collaboration in active transportation. This webpage provides findings from research undertaken by the project team, as well as additional resources on how to maximize partnership opportunities between public health and transportation.
What is the public health connection to transportation?
Everyone in a community needs to get around. How we get around can impact our health in many different ways.
Chronic disease prevention & healthy weights: Multi-modal/active transportation provides opportunities to integrate physical activity into daily living. However, in order for people to use active transportation, the transportation network needs to provide safe, connected and accessible options for walking and cycling. More active people = less chronic disease and obesity
CO2 emissions and air quality: Providing more opportunities for people to use active transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions and can contribute to protecting the community from impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as flooding or ice storms. Reducing motor vehicle travel also contributes to improved air quality and less noise
Connected communities: Creating a connected multi-modal transportation network that links all modes e.g. car to transit to walking enables people of all ages and abilities to get around and access services, work, school
Road safety: Roads should be designed and built to be safe for all users. Pedestrians and cyclists are most vulnerable road users, and prevention of injuries is an important public health concern..
Social and Health Equity: Not everyone can drive. Age, disability, choice or affordability can all keep people from owning and operating a car. Ensuring everyone has a safe, convenient, accessible way to get to where they need to go is an equity matter; everyone deserves to be able to access to health care/services, employment, education etc. Also, often lower income areas have less infrastructure for walking and cycling, as well as poorer air quality and more noise.
Interested in getting involved? Cet in touch with us!
Sue Shikaze (firstname.lastname@example.org)