Everyone travels. Whether it is for work, school or play, how we as individuals and as a society travel has impacts that go far beyond the seemingly simple and routine act of going from one place to another. This common trait provides an ideal intervention point for public health practitioners. In fact, it may be one of the few intervention points with the potential to transform individual health, community health and environmental conditions all at the same time. Transportation systems impact health for better or worse. To address these connections the American Public Health Association and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership have partnered to produce a new guide: Promoting Active Transportation: An Opportunity for Public Health.
With the growing rate of obesity, the high cost of gas and climate change, we must rethink and reshape our transportation systems and networks to promote active transportation, with public health practitioners playing a key role. This primer is intended to give an introduction and orientation to as to why and how health should be considered in transportation planning and decision-making — in particular through active transportation — and the role that public health practitioners can play. In it you will find:
✓ Examples of how to become involved with transportation, land use and built environment decisions at various levels in your community, region or state.
✓ Common ways in which public health professionals can become leaders in the development of active transportation policies.
✓ A brief overview of how transportation programs are organized and funded.
✓ Suggestions for ways to engage.
You will also find a variety of resources, ideas and additional information listed throughout this document to help you dig deeper into particular aspects and to connect with other partners and experts. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership truly valued deepening and strengthening our partnership with the American Public Health Association and welcomes the opportunity to do so with any of our more than 600 partners. To join as a partner, visit www.saferoutespartnership.org/join and to discuss opportunities about strengthen an existing partnership contact Beth Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org