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The urban mobility network Polis calls for action on active travel and health in a position paper produced following the roundtable discussion on Transport & Health held at the 2011 Annual Polis Conference. The paper stresses the urgency of emphasising the link between transport and health in certain EU policy areas, and the need for more initiatives, including by the EU institutions, to actively promote the health benefits of active travel.
Co-authors: Polis, WHO, Sustrans, Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna BOKU, London European Partnership for Transport (LEPT), London Borough of Hounslow and Rome Mobility Agency.
A shift to active mobility and public transport combined with improved land use can yield immediate health benefits, much greater than those achievable by focusing only on improving air quality and the local environment through greater fuel and vehicle efficiencies. More walking and cycling can generate important economic benefits through large public health gains (which are not offset by accident costs). While physical activity deficiency is one of the leading risk factors for ill-health in the WHO European Region, is now recognized that more trips by bike or foot are an easy and accessible way for individuals to raise their levels of physical activity.
For more information, please contact Polis: Florinda Boschetti Polis Project Manager Rue du Trone 98, 1050 Brussels, Belgium +32 (0)2 500 56 74, FBoschetti@polisnetwork.eu www.polisnetwork.eu
Polis is a network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport.
Our aim is to improve local transport through integrated strategies that address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of transport. To this end, Polis supports the exchange of experiences and the transfer of knowledge between European local and regional authorities.
In Polis, decision makers are provided with the necessary information and tools for making sustainable mobility a reality. Within the Political Group of Polis, they formulate recommendations to the European institutions.
Polis members meet regularly in working groups organised in the framework of four pillars:
The Italian city of Perugia holds the 2012 presidency of the Polis network. Polis has a permanent secretariat located in Brussels.