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Health and transport: Three success stories showcased at the Polis side event during the WHO-UNECE's THE PEP 4th High-level Ministerial meeting in Paris

16 April 2014

London, Berlin and the Healthy City network presented their best practices before the THE PEP Members State delegates on how to make the link between health and transport policies, improve people's health through transport by promoting phisical activity in daily life, and create safer conditions for cycling and walking.

The Polis side event on "INTEGRATING HEALTH INTO URBAN TRANSPORT POLICIES" was organised in cooperation with the WHO and UNECE at the 4th High-Level Ministerial Meeting of THE PEP - Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme, 14-16 April 2014, Paris - La Défense.

London

Transport for London (TfL) has just published their first Health Action Plan. Every London borough now has to demonstrate how they are improving the health of their residents through the transport system.

"The document has all the evidence on how transport is linked to health" said Lucy Sauders, health specialist with Transport for London. "It shows how important TfL’s work is already in improving people’s health."

The Action Plan sets out the 10 ways TfL are going to work differently over the next 3 years to better recognise their role in improving people’s health. There is a section at the back of the Action Plan with all the useful resources and tools for practioners.

Berlin

Berlin’s Urban Transport Development Plan outlines the city's strategical framework for the next 15 years linking transport to other fields of urban development, like environmental issues, health, climate change, and integrating all modes into a comprehesive approach to transport planning.

A public consultation was launched in 2013 to encourage citizens have their say on how to make cycling safer, and give their individual feedback on critical spots / locations / junctions.

"Over 35.000 visitors visted our website, and more than 4.800 references were posted, often including detailed problem descriptions, partly providing ideas to solve the situation" said Dr; Julius Menge, principle Affairs of Transport Policy, Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment, Berlin.

Healthy City Network

Healthy City is a network, started by WHO Europe 25 years ago, for city councils/muncipalities throughout the European region. Today there are 1300 healthy- cities found in 29 countries of the WHO European region.

The French Healthy City network has just published the brochure "Active Mobility Every Day" addressing local governaments.

"We suggest that rather than using a classical health promotion/public health project- management approach, more impact is achieved if a health in all policy /pan-municipality approach is used" said Zoe Heritage, Coordinator, WHO French Healthy Cities Network. "This aims to get health benefits recognized and integrated into a wide range of muncipality policies."

"A shift to more active travel can yield higher health benefits in the short term than improving the performance of internal combustion engines to reduce local emissions or the transition to alternative fuels" concluded Sylvain Haon Polis director. "Meeting minimum levels of physical activity on a daily basis would considerably reduce by 30% the risk of all premature deaths."

Presentations are available for download here.

For more information, please contact Florinda Boschetti or +32 (2) 500 56 74.