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Transportation and Health Tool

“Transportation choices play an important role in building and maintaining healthy communities. The Transportation and Health Tool can help create safe and convenient transportation networks in communities. I look forward to continuing our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation to make healthy transportation—biking, walking and taking public transit—the easy choice.”

Patrick Breysse, Director, CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

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.


The online Transportation and Health Tool gives transportation decision-makers, health officials, and the public easy access to data to understand the health impact of an existing transportation system or proposed transportation project. The tool provides data on 14 transportation and health indicators for U.S. states, metropolitan statistical areas, and urbanized areas. The indicators measure how the transportation environment affects health in the following areas:

  • Safety. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. By providing transportation options and improving roadway facilities, transportation agencies can reduce the incidence of motor vehicle crashes.
  • Active transportation. Transportation agencies and their partners can help people lead more active lifestyles by giving them options for getting to places they need to go without driving. They can also reduce the distance between destinations people travel to satisfy daily needs.
  • Air quality. Air pollution has been linked with heart disease and respiratory illnesses, including asthma. Improving transportation system efficiency and supporting cleaner vehicles and fuels can improve air quality.
  • Connectivity to destinations. Providing a well-connected, multi-modal transportation network increases people’s ability to access destinations that can influence their health and well-being. For example, an effective transportation network can provide access to jobs, health care services, and parks.
  • Equity. Negative health effects related to transportation systems often fall hardest on more vulnerable members of the community, such as low-income residents, communities of color, children, and older adults.
promenade with bicycle lanes

The tool also includes 25 evidence-based policies, strategies, and interventions for improving health outcomes through transportation investments. Such investments include expanding walking, bicycling and public transit infrastructure, promoting connectivity, and improving roadway safety.

The Transportation and Health Tool was jointly developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Transportation in partnership with the American Public Health Association. CDC’s Healthy Community Design Initiative led a team of experts from multiple organizations to design, develop, and release the tool. If you have questions or feedback about the Transportation and Health Tool, please contact

The Healthy Community Design Initiative (HCDI) prevents disease and injury by helping create built environments that provide convenient and safe opportunities for people to walk, bicycle, or use public transit. HCDI, also known as the Built Environment and Health Initiative, is the only federal program whose primary purpose is to improve the health of all Americans through evidence-based changes to the built environment. HCDI helps states and communities integrate health considerations into transportation and community planning decisions by:

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  • Page last reviewed: December 14, 2015
  • Page last updated: December 14, 2015
  • Content source: Error processing SSI file
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