Active Travel & Health

The Working Group on Active Travel and Health looks at the impact that urban and regional transport has on the environment and on health.


The Working Group on Active Travel and Health looks at the impact that urban and regional transport has on the environment and on health, with a focus on the role of soft modes of transport, such as walking and cycling. The Working Group focuses on measures and strategies to enable a more balanced distribution of public space across the different modes, promoting active travel and thus harnessing its well-known benefits.

The Working Group also fosters discussion among members on public bicycle sharing schemes, noise pollution from transport and climate change. Furthermore, the group aims to advance knowledge on the prioritisation and integration of health in urban and transport planning processes.

Through the Working Group, POLIS partners with WHO’s Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme in view of their high-level ministerial meeting in 2021, the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance’s Community of Interest on Active Travel and the ‘Pathway to Walkable Cities’ partnership, which includes ITDP, IRAP and WHO.

Topics being discusses in this Working Group are:

  • Reallocation of space to promote active travel (COVID-19), including pop-up bike lanes, widening of sidewalks, etc;
  • (Re)design of streets to create healthier and more liveable cities (including concepts as shared streets, healthy streets, etc.)
  • Spatial interventions to regulate vehicle access to urban areas
  • Improving walkability in cities;
  • Walk & cycle to school, including design and implementation of school streets.
  • Gender perspectives in active travel;
  • Health impacts of active travel: harnessing the benefits and avoiding health problems related to sedentary lifestyles;
  • Urban and transport planning and its relation with health;
  • The 15-minute city concept;
  • Noise abatement measures;
  • Planning and management of public bike-sharing systems.
Cities and regions across Europe have been reallocating urban spaces towards more sustainable modes of mobility. The share of cycling and walking in terms of the total urban modal split has increased during the pandemic.
(c) Unsplash/Roman Koester

More information

For further information, please contact Andréia Lopes Azevedo