Integrating Active Transportation and Heath into Municipal and Regional Transportation Planning: Defining the Metrics and Identifying Best Practices

6 October 2011
Creekside Community Centre
Vancouver, BC

What are the health benefits of active transportation? How can municipal and regional planning and health agencies quantify and monetize these benefits? This daylong event featured panel presentations and discussions from international, national, regional and local experts, as well as interactive group exercises and speed learning activities to provide information on how to integrate health into the transportation planning process.

Keynote presentations were from Jim Sallis, PhD, Director of Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University; and Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America.

Coordinated by the Health & Community Design Lab. Sponsored by the Health & Community Design Lab, the City of Vancouver, and TransLink.

AGENDA & PRESENTATIONS

8:55-9:00am Tsawwassen First Nation Blessing, Elder Ruth Adams

9:00-9:35am Welcome and Introduction

  • David Farrar, PhD, Provost and Vice President Academic, University of British Columbia
  • Sadhu Johnston, Deputy City Manager, City of Vancouver

9:35-10:15am The Case for Action: Framing The Health Problem
What is the state of public health across the globe? What is the role of healthy eating and active living in reducing risk for chronic disease? Why should planners and other allied professionals consider health outcomes in the planning and design of neighbourhoods, transportation networks and public spaces?

10:15-10:45pm A Framework For Action/The Case for Monetization
What are the health externalities of transportation decisions? What are the hidden health costs of land use patterns and transportation infrastructure? How can we account for these costs?

11:00am-12:00pm Connecting Health and Transportation Around the Globe
What is the state of current transportation planning practice around the world? How are municipalities and regions incorporating active transportation and its health benefits into transportation planning decisions? This panel discussion will showcase innovative examples of how municipalities and regions across the globe are explicitly linking health and transportation. Speakers will highlight interesting examples from Canada, United States, and Australia.

12:00-1:15pm Lunch & Keynote Presentation

1:15-2:15pm Current Approaches To Prioritizing Transportation Investments
This session will provide an overview of the various methods municipalities and regions use to prioritize transportation investments (e.g. performance-based measures, cost-benefit analysis) and the opportunities for considering health benefits and costs in these methods.

2:15-3:00pm Steps Towards Monetizing Health Costs of Transportation Investments
This panel presentation will highlight how municipalities and regions are considering the health costs and benefits in transportation planning decisions. How are they incorporating health into the prioritization process? How are they monetizing the health benefits of active transportation? What cost-benefit model(s) are being used to influence these decisions?

3:10-4:00pm Leadership & Action: Partnerships, Practice & Policy (facilitated discussion)
This interactive discussion will explore the role of political leadership, inter- and intra- governmental partnerships, and cross-sectoral partnerships in institutionalizing health as a required component of transportation planning and investment decisions.

  • Bob Ransford, Senior Consultant, Counterpoint Communications (moderator)
  • Dr. Patricia Daly, FRCPC, Chief Medical Health Officer and Vice President, Public Health
  • Peter McCue, Premier’s Council for Active Living, New South Wales, Australia
  • Monica Campbell, PhD, Director, Healthy Public Policy, Toronto Public Health

4:00-4:40pm Lessons Learned (facilitated discussion)
This interactive discussion will explore how the Vancouver region can better address health in the transportation planning process.

  • Bob Ransford, Senior Consultant, Counterpoint Communications (moderator)
  • Greg Yeomans, Manager, Transport and Land Use, TransLink
  • Lee-Ann Garnett, Senior Regional Planner, Regional Development, Policy and Planning, Metro Vancouver
  • Claire Gram, Population Health Policy Consultant, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Dale Bracewell, P.Eng, Manager, Active Transportation, City of Vancouver

 4:40-5:00pm Symposium Synthesis and Final Remarks

RESOURCES