Transportation & Health 101 Toolkit

Transportation & Health 101 Toolkit

Transportation & Health 101 Toolkit

A vision of healthy communities cannot disregard or devalue transportation. A healthy community is one in which people have access to healthy foods, feel safe, have opportunities for physical activity, breathe clean air, have access to gainful employment and feel connected to opportunity. Transportation is access, thus, transportation is opportunity.

Transportation significantly effects health through traffic crashes, air pollution exposure, access to healthy food, access to physical activity, and economic opportunity, which are only a few of the implications. 

Effective transportation policies are key to improving the health of communities and their residents. Transportation planning and projects that connect low-income communities to opportunity and basic goods and services, while always prioritizing public transit and non-motorized transportation holds enormous potential for addressing many of our nation’s most pressing societal problems. Transportation solutions for public health are shared solutions which can create social and economic equity, benefit the environment, and improve the economy. These benefits are long-term and must be prioritized for this nation to remain economically competitive, have a healthy population who is able to participate and produce, and have a sustainable environment for generations to come.

Health advocates are beginning to recognize the importance of getting involved in transportation planning and policy to ensure the health implications of such work are considered.

Transportation advocates are also interested in better understanding the intersection of health and transportation. Data regarding health and equity outcomes is compelling, and can help inform policy proposals and transportation decision-making. Additionally, working across disciplines presents an opportunity for a new cadre of advocates to join and provide support for healthier transportation solutions.

This toolkit will help health advocates better understand transportation issues and their related health connections, and help inform transportation advocates on the importance of health in their work.

Inside the Toolkit

Crafted by researchers and national experts, this toolkit presents an overview of transportation policy and planning, the connections between transportation and health as well as policy opportunities to create healthy transportation options. Much of this content was originally prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meeting, Linking Transportation Policy and Public Health, in November 2008. For more information on the conference, including the goals and the agenda, click here.  

The focus of many of these documents is on federal transportation policy. The Federal Transportation Reauthorization Act, a large bill that passes through Congress every six to seven years, sets federal transportation policies and provides funding for state and local projects. A new bill will be developed within two years making this time critical to ensure health is considered in the decision-making process.




The Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Partnership