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Health and Transportation is growing area of interest and innovation. There are a variety of resources available on the topic from the US Department of Transportation, as well as other sources.

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Case Studies

Purposeful, place-based transportation planning helps create more Livable Communities and in-turn often results in increased opportunities for providing positive health impacts for communities. Transportation agencies across the U.S. are realizing the value of collaborating with the parks and recreation, public health departments, community advocacy groups and other nontraditional partners that serve their communities. These case studies highlight ways that transportation planners are enhancing access to recreation, improving communication, and making more informed decisions that may lead to improved health outcomes for constituents.

The Pinellas County MPO is improving access to Pinellas County parks and trails that serve minority and low-income populations. By increasing access to recreational opportunities, the planning effort aims to reduce risk factors for chronic diseases that occur when people do not get enough physical activity.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Health Authority - Public Health Division : entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2013 that is shaping the way that transportation agencies at the local, regional, and State level think about public health and vice versa.

Publications & Tools

Transportation and Health Tool: The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a simple-to-use transportation and health tool. For the first time, it is possible for transportation decisionmakers to understand how their community or State compares to their peers in terms of key health and transportation indicators. A one-page overview of how to use the Tool is also available.

Integrating Public Health and Transportation Planning: Perspectives for MPOs and COGs: This paper from the National Association of Regional Councils examines how select regions are integrating public health into transportation planning. The report includes a review of current opinion, select examples of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) conducting this work, and ways in which MPOs can leverage this concept.

Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities: This report develops a framework for metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to use to successfully consider health throughout the transportation planning process. The report is a resource for transportation planners, their transportation partners, and new partners in the health field. A one-page summary of the report is also available."

Moving Healthy: Linking FHWA Programs and Health: This document provides information on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) programs, initiatives, tools, and resources that influence or are influenced by health. Although FHWA does not have a single, specific program that focuses solely on health, it is implicit in a broad range of existing programs.

Public Roads Article: How Does Transportation Affect Public Health?: Public Roads is the bimonthly magazine of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Statewide Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities: This paper presents insights, case studies, and a flexible model for State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) that choose to integrate public health considerations into their transportation planning and decision-making. It adapts the analysis and framework from the previous study on Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities to the context and needs of DOTs and their transportation and health partners.

Tools and Practices for Land use Integration: Linking Planning and Public Health: Land use, transportation, and health-related decisions are made by a range of actors and agencies at different organizational levels. These entities may collaborate to develop effective planning tools, policies, and incentives in order to influence public health outcomes.

U.S. DOT Resources

FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Program: The Bicycle & Pedestrian Program of the Federal Highway Administration's Office of Human Environment promotes bicycle and pedestrian transportation use, safety, and accessibility. This page contains information on bicycle and pedestrian policies as well as related publications and resources.

FHWA's Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) website: CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, holistic approach to the development of transportation projects. This page features information about the CSS process as well as a clearinghouse of resources to help practitioners learn and understand this approach to transportation design.

FHWA's Livability Initiative: FHWA is committed improving the relationship between infrastructure and community needs, specifically to improve a community's "livability," to enhance the environmental sensitivity of roads and bridges and to help states explore multi-modal transportation options.

FHWA's Office of Safety: The FHWA Office of Safety's mission is to reduce highway fatalities by making our roads safer through a data-driven, systematic approach and addressing all "4Es" of safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services.

Human Environment Digest: The Human Environment Digest shares the latest information from a range of Federal and non-Federal sources, addressing transportation and its relationship to the human environment. The Digest also includes a listing of upcoming events including conferences, workshops, training, and webinars related to the human environment and a link to sign-up for email delivery of the bi-weekly digest.

Safe Routes to School Program: Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are sustained efforts by parents, schools, community leaders and local, state, and federal governments to improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and bicycle to school.

Other Government Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Health Design Initiative: CDC's Healthy Community Design Initiative works to improve public health by linking public health surveillance with community design decisions, improving community design decisions, educating decision makers , building partnerships with community design decision makers, conducting research , and translating research into best practices.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Recommendations for Transportation: This page highlights the CDC's specific recommendations for including the consideration of public health within transportation issues.

Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities: Step It Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities recognizes the importance of physical activity for people of all ages and abilities. It calls on Americans to be more physically active through walking and calls on the nation to better support walking and walkability.

Sustainable Communities: The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution.

TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee: The Transportation Research Board Health and Transportation Subcommittee (ADD50-01) advances research, education, and professional practice in public health and transportation.

US Department of Health and Human Services Active Living: This page details the Surgeon General's priorities for Active Living, and included physical activity guidelines, the Surgeon General's Everybody Walk! Initiative and additional active living resources.

US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Human Health Research: EPA's human health research is focused on improving scientific knowledge base and developing tools and methods to enable the Agency to identify and characterize human health impacts associated with environmental exposures.

Webinars & Media

American Planning Association Webinar Series: This webinar series focuses on built environment interventions that promote community health. Topics related to planning and public health include strategies to advance active living, healthy eating, and cross-sector and community collaborations.

American Public Health Association (APHA) Transportation, Health and Equity Webinar Series: Each year, APHA offer a free webinar series on health and active transportation. Topics have included using health impact assessments to connect bicycle and pedestrian safety and health and injury prevention in transportation, among others.

Designing Healthier Communities (DHC): This four-hour PBS series looks at the impact the built environment has on key public health indices like obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer and depression. The program connects community design with burgeoning health costs, and highlights what citizens are doing about this urgent crisis.

FHWA Webinar on Transportation and Health: This FHWA hosted webinar on transportation and health discusses current research and highlights case studies and best practices for taking a holistic approach to health in the transportation planning process.

Advocacy & Coalitions

America Walks: America Walks is a national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities.

Child Health Transportation Initiative: The Child Health Transportation Initiative (CHTI), a comprehensive research, public education and advocacy program, calls attention to the critical deficiencies of public transportation systems that preclude millions of lower-income children from accessing health care services.

National Complete Streets Coalition: National Complete Streets Coalition seeks to fundamentally transform the look, feel, and function of the roads and streets in our community, by changing the way most roads are planned, designed, and constructed.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center: The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center improves the quality of life in communities through the increase of safe walking and bicycling as a viable means of transportation and physical activity. The PBIC serves anyone interested in pedestrian and bicycle issues, including planners, engineers, private citizens, advocates, educators, police enforcement, and the health community.

Urban Land Institute's Building Healthy Places Initiative: The Building Healthy Places Initiative leverages the power of Urban Land Institute's global networks to shape projects and places in ways that improve the health of people and communities.

Associations & Non-Profits

American Planning Association (APA): The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

American Public Health Association - Transportation Issues from a Public Health Perspective: APHA provides additional information on the links between public health, equity and transportation and APHA's advocacy efforts to ensure that transportation policy helps, rather than hinders, public health.

Updated: 6/30/2016
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