Transport policies have the opportunity to actively enhance public life and help to address insufficient physical activity which has been identified by the World Health Organization as a major global health issue.
….It is also increasingly apparent that, even with a 2°C rise, the world will be greatly changed from present, with economic budgets greatly stressed by reparation of infrastructure and all the pillars of life, water, food, air quality and biodiversity-resilience under stress and facing likely deterioration…..
Research that Population Health Professor Marj Moodie and I have conducted has found that incidental physical activity from active transport, such as walking to catch the train to work or cycling to the shops, can save lives and money.
It is important to be mindful of the fact that our health, physical and mental, is dependent on our environment. There are many and various pathways by which environmental change can and does impact human health in both the short and long term. This includes how we design our built environment, generate energy, organise health services and transport infrastructure; there is also a strong interrelationship between all of these systems. In particular, urban transport infrastructure and consequently the modes of transport we use, have a range of both direct and indirect health impacts.
Doctors regularly see the adverse effects of private motor vehicles via patients injured in road traffic accidents. Despite the number of fatalities halving over the last 30 years due to random breath testing and improved road and vehicle design, Australia still recorded 1611 road crash deaths in 2007. (1) It has been predicted that by 2020 traffic accidents will be the third largest cause of global disability adjusted life years lost. (2)