THE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT IN SUSTAINABLE CITIES PROJECT
Healthy Transport, Healthy People
Current transport practices result in trauma, pollution and physical inactivity. These can lead to early death.
Active transport improves community health
Healthy Transport, Healthy People shows that a sustainable city needs sustainable transport that encourages health-supporting, not health-damaging, travel behaviour.
Health, safety and transport are daily concerns for everyone, but few of us realise how closely they are connected. In the 1990s the World Health Organisation identified transport as one of the major determinants of health and health inequality in Western countries.
Our car culture damages our health
Increased car use has displaced active transport-walking, cycling and using public transport. Current transport planning and infrastructure foster habitual car use. Consequently, almost half the population is exposed to substantial health risk from physical inactivity.
Our travel habits help determine our health. Forty per cent of urban NSW residents are not physically active at levels recommended for good health; 41 per cent are overweight or obese.
Physical activity almost halves the risk of cardiovascular disease and also reduces the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis and colon cancer as well as alleviating anxiety and depression.
The most effective, and enduring way of increasing our physical activity is by using `active transport' rather than driving.
All the urban air pollutants that have an im
More than a third of the greenhouse gas emissions from a typical Australian household are from transport - the opportunities exist for most people to reduce their motor vehicle-related use.
The community needs to be convinced of the personal health benefits of incorporating active transport into their lifestyles. The health and transport sectors need to work together to develop complementary strategies to promote sustainable and healthy transport. Businesses whose activities and profitability are determined by the health of their workers will benefit through active involvement in sustainable transport initiatives.
The policies and goals for urban and transport development should reflect the policies and goals of both sustainable environmental planning and the maintenance of healthy communities.
Adopt active transport and live better and longer
More effective policies and actions are needed to promote `active transport' and reduce car use:
Fund the running and evaluation of demonstration programs to:
PROMOTE ACTIVE TRANSPORT THROUGH THE HEALTH AND EDUCATION SECTORS
To achieve behavioural change road authorities need to develop an awareness among the media, trip generators, and the community of the problems of single-occupancy car use for the transport system and encourage improved road user behaviour that respects all road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians and supports bus-priority.