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TitleThe economic assessment of health benefits of active transport
Author(s)Arsénio, Elisabete
Ribeiro, Paulo
KeywordsCost-Benefit Analysis
Health benefits
Health economic assessment tool
Sustainable transport
Walking and Cycling
World Health Organization
Issue dateJun-2015
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
JournalTransport and Sustainability
CitationArsenio E., Ribeiro P. The Economic Assessment of Health Benefits of Active Transport, Sustainable Urban Transport, Vol. 7, pp. 1-22, doi:10.1108/S2044-994120150000007011, 2015
Abstract(s)Purpose:This chapter addresses the economic assessment of health benefits of active transport and presents most recent valuation studies with an overview of progresses made towards the inclusion of health benefits in the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of active transport. Methodology/approach: It is built upon the contracted study for the World Health Organization (WHO) on the economic appraisal of health benefits of walking and cycling investments at the city of Viana do Castelo, the former pilot study in Portugal for evaluating the health benefits of non-motorized transport using the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT). The relative risk values adopted in the HEAT for walking refer to adult population of the age group 20â 74 years and the assessment focus in on average physical activity/regular behaviour of groups of pedestrians and all-cause mortality health impacts. During the case study, it was developed and implemented a mobility survey which aimed to collect behavioural data before and after a street intervention in the historic centre. Findings: Most recent appraisal guidance of walking and cycling and health impact modelling studies reviewed confirm that further research is expected before a more comprehensive appraisal procedure can be adopted in Europe, able to integrate physical activity effects along with other health risks such as those related to road traffic injuries and exposure to air pollution. Social implications: The health benefits assessment of walking investments helped local decision-makers to progress towards sustainable mobility options in the city. Making the population aware of the potential health benefits of regular walking can encourage more people to uptake active transport as part of their daily activities. Originality/value: This study provides a useful review of the health benefits of active transport with a comprehensive analysis of valuation studies, presenting value-added information. It then reports a former assessment of the health effects of active transport in the Portuguese context (case study) using the state-of-the-art economic analysis tool (HEAT) of the World Health Organization which is believed to contribute to a paradigm shift in the transport policy and appraisal practice given the need of shaping future cities (and their citizens) for health through more investments in active transport.
TypeConference paper
AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:C-TAC - Capítulos/Artigos em Livros Internacionais

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