Polis working group on health and transport: Exploring emerging areas which link directly to public health and transport planning

On October 18th, Andy Cope, Director of Insight, Sustrans (UK) opened the workshop by illustrating their ongoing activities under the theme of trying to access health budgets for active travel in the U.K.

Andy's presentation highlighted new themes which are worth exploring in greater detail in future Working group meetings, such as Social investment and Transport poverty.

Sharing good practice is at the core of the Polis working group, and we shall continue to explore and share more good practice from other cities and regions about their approaches. As an example, Transport for London is using the Health economic assesement tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling to build business cases for investment in active travel projects. TfL presented their experience on the following day during the "Active travel for healthy cities" workshop.

Bharti Girjasing, Advisor International Affairs - EU Representative, city of Utrecht, briefly announced that her colleagues in the Transport Planning department have been working now for several years on healthy living urbanisation and that Social Impact Bonds were recently launched in Utrecht also in transport-related areas.

László  Kerényi, Head of Mobility Strategy at BKK Centre for Budapest Transport (HU), presented Budapest good practice and their approach to promote active travel in the frame of Sustainable urban mobilty planning, and how BKK is leveraging european funds to pursue policy goals and go beyond funding availability at the end of co-funded project.

Herbert Tiemens, Senior Cycling Policy Officer, Province of Utrecht (NL) showed their tool for modelling cycling and route choices. Herbert was very keen to hear from Polis members if and how wellbeing and health can be included in the model.

Eddy Klynen, CEO Flemish Foundation for Traffic knowledge (BE) presented his institute's good practice on road safety and education. Since 1990 FFT organises traffic and mobility education. In 2016 they organised more than 20.000 training hours for more than 50.000 participants. In 2002 they started the project ‘Everybody Mobile’: it offers training for adults concerning cycling, public transport and driver education.

On October 19th Polis hosted the "Active travel for healthy cities" workshop in cooperation with PASTA project. The workshop aimed to present the latest research-based evidence linking health benefits of increased physical activity and transport, and measures to encourage active travel and create healthier urban environments.

Nick Cavill, HEAT core group, and Cavill Associated Ltd, presented the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) to conduct an economic assessment of the health benefits of walking or cycling. Nick guided the audience through the new online HEAT platform. The new HEAT will include air quality, traffic crashes and carbon emissions.

New approaches and good practice examples to encourage active travel and design more liveable public space were presented by Transport for LondonTransport for Greater Manchester, and Ile-de-France.

For more information about the Polis Working group on Health and Transport, please contact Florinda Boschetti.