Modeling health equity in active transportation planning

Quantifying the public health impacts of transportation plans provides stakeholders with information that can aid in evaluating alternative transportation scenarios. Active transportation can improve public health through increased physical activity. At the same time, increasing walking and cycling can affect the risk of traffic injury or increase exposure to air pollution. The Integrated Transport and Health Impacts Model (ITHIM) has been applied around the world to understand changes in public health that will result from increases in active travel. However, the model does not provide disaggregate information required to evaluate the social equity implications of such changes. Health benefits are typically reported as a single value (e.g., total reductions in deaths) at the county or regional level. In this work, the authors draw from several data sources to report demographically explicit (i.e., race/ethnicity and income) results from an ITHIM implementation developed for the Sacramento region in California. This disaggregation is helpful because travel behavior and health outcomes are affected by race/ethnicity and its correlates (e.g., residential location) and planning agencies are required to ensure that their policies and projects are not discriminatory. The results show people of color are generally expected to experience greater overall health benefits than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, the disaggregated results indicate that there is a substantial variation between counties and demographic groups, providing decision makers with the information needed to target interventions to achieve desired outcomes for disadvantaged populations. They also pave the way for further spatial disaggregation.


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  • Accession Number: 01692170
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2019 3:12PM