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Reducing vehicle miles travelled: Impact on physical activity, air pollution, and car collisions. Cat Livingston, MD, MPH Oregon Health & Science University. Oregon. Project Components. Community Engagement State and Local Advocacy Health Impact Assessment Research. Timeline.

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reducing vehicle miles travelled impact on physical activity air pollution and car collisions
Reducing vehicle miles travelled: Impact on physical activity, air pollution, and car collisions

Cat Livingston, MD, MPH

Oregon Health & Science University

project components
Project Components
  • Community Engagement
  • State and Local Advocacy
  • Health Impact Assessment Research
timeline
Timeline
  • 2006-2007: Community Forums across Oregon
  • 2008: “Blueprint for Oregon’s Future” published
  • 2008: Governor proposes targets for car use in Oregon cities
  • 2009, May: Health Impact Assessment completed
  • 2010: Legislation passes
policies coming out of forums priorities
Policies Coming Out of Forums Priorities
  • Protection of farmland
  • Healthy / “green” jobs
  • Public transit, walking and biking Investments
  • Land use planning to promote vibrant city centers
governor s proposal for vmt targets
Governor’s Proposal for VMT Targets
  • Applies to Oregon’s six major cities
  • Targets set by state taskforces
  • Consistent with Climate Change Goals
climate change policy and health
Climate Change Policyand Health

Indirect Impact of Social and Economic Disruption on

Health

Climate

Change

Policies

Direct Impact

of Weather

on Health

Co-benefits of Policies that Improve Health

project advisory committee
Project Advisory Committee
  • Coordination: Upstream Public Health
  • Analysis: Oregon Health and Science University
  • Advisory Role: Human Impact Partners

--------------

  • Metropolitan Planning Organization staff
  • Public Health Stakeholders
  • Land Use and Bicycle Advocates
literature review
Literature Review

Policies – 11 initially identified

  • Land use / built environment
  • Access to public transportation
  • Increasing costs of driving

Health Impacts:

  • Physical activity
  • Air pollution
  • Collisions
literature physical activity
Literature: Physical Activity

Physical activity levels are associated with

  • Community scale urban design
  • Land use regulation

Most consistent characteristics

  • Land use mix, population density, distance to non-residential destinations

Causal evidence - small community studies

A. Street level design improves ped/bicycle use

literature physical activity1
Literature: Physical Activity

Does physical activity make a difference?

  • Impressively so
  • Reduces incidence of disease
    • Colon and breast cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Stroke
    • Heart disease
  • Reduces death rates
    • All cause mortality in a dose-response fashion
    • Cardiovascular mortality
    • Cancer mortality
literature car collisions
Literature: Car Collisions
  • Suburban sprawl
    • Higher car collision fatality rates
    • Higher pedestrian collision fatality rates
  • Increased density (population and vehicles)
    • Higher car collision rates
      • But less fatality…interesting
literature air pollution
Literature: Air Pollution
  • Vehicle related emissions affected by components of built environment
    • E.g. (Street connectivity, land use mix, household and employment density)
  • Work, live and play location proximity to traffic
    • Relates to exposure to air pollutants
    • Affects indoor air
    • Affects outdoor air
literature air pollution1
Literature: Air Pollution
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) associated with:
    • Cardiovascular mortality
    • Pulmonary mortality
    • Lung cancer
    • Overall (non-accidental) mortality
  • Particulate matter is associated with:
    • Cardiovascular mortality
    • Pulmonary mortality
    • All cause mortality
    • Lung cancer mortality
literature air pollution2
Literature: Air Pollution

Causal relationship?

Life expectancy

Fine Particulate Matter

Symptoms associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

pathway between land use planning and health
Pathway between land use planning and health

↓ Broad chronic disease rates

↑ Street Connectivity

↑ Active Transportation

↓ Risk Pedestrian/ Bicyclist Fatalities

↑ Employment/ Population/Residential Unit Density

↑ Minor Car Collisions

↓ Car Fatalities

↑ Car Injuries

↓ Asthma

↓ Lung Disease

↓ Lung Cancer

↓ Mortality

↓ Air Pollution

↓ Driving

↑ Employment Density

↓ Work Distance

↓ Car Collisions

↓ Car Injuries

pathway between increasing costs of driving and health
Pathway between increasing costs of driving and health

↓Injuries/Fatalities

↑ VMT Tax

↓Asthma

↓ Lung Disease

↓ Cancers

↓ Mortality

↓Collisions

↑ Fuel Tax

↓ Driving

↓Air Pollution

↑ Parking Fees

↑ Severe Collisions

↑ Fatalities

Time and Route Change

↑ Congestion Prices

No overall changes in air pollution

↑ Public Transit Use

↓ All-Cause Mortality

↓ Chronic Disease Incidence

↑ Physical Activity

vmt policies
VMT Policies

5 VMT reduction policies with greatest health impact

  • Maximize urban neighborhood density
  • Require new developments to have mixed-use design, with good connectivity,
  • Develop good pedestrian infrastructure
  • Increase public transportation coverage area
  • Require businesses to charge a fee for employee parking
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Mix of policies have greatest effect
  • Increased focus on active transportation
  • Mitigation for vulnerable populations
photo credits
Photo Credits
  • 1000 Friends of Oregon
  • Ian Britten
  • Sherri
  • Millicent_bystander
  • Vivek Shandas
  • Amarette
  • gmeador
contact
Contact

Cat Livingston, MD, MPH

livingsc@ohsu.edu

Oregon Health & Science University

Mel Rader, MS, MS

Upstream Public Health

mel@upstreampublichealth.org