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Research & Reports

Healthy Equitable Transportation Policy Research and Recommendations




According to a 2009 research recommendations report from the Convergence Partnership, Prevention Institute and PolicyLink, transportation policy needs to evolve. Rather than focus only on moving people, policy needs to factor in the health and equity of the community.

Leading academic researchers and advocates working at the intersection of transportation policy, equity, and public health come together in this report to identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity. This report synthesizes their insights and offers concrete recommendations for change.

Key Points

This report presents the vision that transportation is more than moving people and goods, but also serves to build healthy, opportunity-rich communities. To that end, a new framework for transportation policy and planning is emerging.

Rather than focus almost exclusively on mobility (and its corollaries, speed and distance), the new framework also emphasizes transportation accessibility. In other words, instead of designing transportation systems primarily to move cars and goods, the new approach calls for systems designed to serve people – all people – efficiently, affordably, and safely. This approach prioritizes investments in:

  • Public transportation, walking, and bicycling – transportation modes that can promote health, opportunity, environmental quality, and indeed mobility for people who do not have access to cars.

  • Communities with the greatest need for affordable, safe, reliable transportation linkages to jobs, and essential goods and services—chiefly, low- income communities and communities of color.

The report includes detailed prescriptions for new policies relating to public transportation, bicycling and walking, complete streets, economic development, and access to healthy foods.

How to Use

This report was written for community leaders, policymakers, funders, practitioners, and advocates interested in an overarching transportation and mobility strategy to promote active living and to build healthy communities of opportunity.

PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, and the Convergence Partnership believe that building healthy communities requires a collaboration of stakeholders from diverse fields and sectors. Local community leaders will find this a helpful document for broadening how one thinks about transportation and mobility policies.

Research published: January 2009

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