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Transportation and Health Resources

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

The Healthy Community Design Initiative, also known as the Built Environment and Health Initiative, is no longer a funded program and the information on this website is not being reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

Transportation and Health Policy and Practice

CDC Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [accessed 18 July 2013]. Available at URL:

This CDC policy statement gives specific recommendations for including the consideration of public health within transportation issues. Key high-level areas include reducing injuries associated with motor vehicle crashes, improving air quality, expanding public transportation, promoting active transportation, encouraging healthy community design, designing to minimize adverse health and safety consequences, requiring research and surveillance, and supporting professional development and job creation.

Community Speed Reduction and Public Health. Health Resources in Action [accessed 30 December 2013]. Available at URL: speed-reduction.html

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States each year. Vehicle speed is a major factor in many of these collisions, and higher speeds are especially dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists when collisions occur. Small traffic speed reductions can lead to fewer motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths. Slower speeds may also promote physical activity by making roads safer and more inviting for pedestrians and cyclists—especially when combined with specific road features for those users. Proven measures exist to reduce vehicle speeds to levels that are safer for everyone on the road. Health Resources in Action has a series of community speed reduction resources for local, state and federal policymakers, transportation officials and public health professionals. The series, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the National Network of Public Health Institutes, includes:

  1. Impact Brief – Describes the public health challenges associated with high motor vehicle speeds and offers evidence-based options for reducing speed in communities.
  2. Speed Fact Sheet – Provides an overview of the opportunities to improve current transportation engineering practices to promote health.
  3. Technical Guidance Report – Presents background research and findings from a literature review, policy and practice scan, and key informant interviews.
  4. Case studies – Describes successful speed reduction policy interventions in six U.S cities:

Partnership for Prevention. Transportation and health: Policy interventions for safer, healthier people and communities [accessed 18 July 2013]. Washington, DC: Partnership for Prevention; 2011. Available at URL: and

This report examines the effects of transportation policies on public health in three key areas: environment and environmental public health, community design and active transportation, and motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities. Decision makers at the federal, state, and local level; stakeholders including public health professionals; and the general public should find the document useful in helping adopt transportation policies consistent with evidence-based recommendations. The report was funded by a cooperative grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

American Public Health Association. Transportation Issues from the public health perspective [accessed 18 July 2013]. American Public Health Association. Available at URL:

The Website provides multiple resources on the links between public health, equity, and transportation and APHA’s advocacy efforts to ensure that transportation policy promotes rather than harms public health.

American Public Health Association. At the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation: Promoting Healthy Transportation Policy. 2009. Available at URL:

This monograph reviews how transportation and community design policies affect health.

Health and Transportation Subcommittee, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies

This subcommittee is concerned with advancing research, education, and professional practice in health and transportation, and aims to improve understanding and evaluation of how transportation systems influence public health; maximize the health benefits of transportation systems and limit their adverse effects on travelers, neighbors, and vulnerable groups; and integrate transportation and health issues through planning, policy, engineering, design, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community participation.

Prevention Institute. Healthy, equitable transportation policy: recommendations and research. Oakland (CA): Prevention Institute; no date. Available at URL: 6ded-4abd-a392-ae583809e350%7D/HEALTHTRANS_FULLBOOK_FINAL.PDF

In this report, leading academic researchers and advocates identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity, and offers recommendations for change. The report was commissioned by the Convergence Partnership, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  • Page last reviewed: January 2, 2014 (archived document)
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