NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

The co-benefits for health of investing in active transportation

Billie Giles-Corti, Sarah Foster, Trevor Shilton, Ryan Falconer

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 21(6) 122–127 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB10027 Published online: 16 July 2010

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About the author/s

Billie Giles-Corti

Sarah Foster

Trevor Shilton

Ryan Falconer

Abstract

Amid growing concerns about the impact of rising obesity and physical inactivity levels, climate change, population growth, increasing traffic congestion and declining oil supplies, multiple sectors are now promoting active transportation as an alternative to driving. This paper considers the health benefits and co-benefits of investing in active transportation, enabling comparison of policy options to optimise societal objectives aimed at creating healthy, socially and environmentally sustainable communities. Policies promoting the use of both energy-efficient motor vehicles and increased active transportation would almost double the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and would reduce disease burden by increasing physical activity. More co-benefit and economic analyses research is required to inform ‘joined-up’ policy solutions.