• TRB 100th Annual Meeting - A Virtual Event

      January 2021

    • Online Program

Annual Meeting Event Detail

Workshop 101

The Nexus of Transportation and Environmental Health Governance: Intersections and Collisions Across and Within Borders

Sunday, January 08 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM ET
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O. A. Elrahman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI),
Georgios Giannopoulos, Academy of Athens,

Heidi Guenin, MobilityData
Sponsored by:
Standing Committee on International Cooperation (Changed to International Coordinating Council, A0020C, on 4/14/2020) (A0010)
Joint Subcommittee on Health and Transportation of ADD50 and ABJ30 (ADD50(1))

Policies aimed at protecting or improving the well-being of people have at times caused direct or indirect impacts on other levels of policy and law. This workshop considers case studies and analyses of transportation decisions made at the subnational level that have had impacts on environmental health, which is influenced by national and international regulations, laws, and protocols. Studies also analyze how governance of transportation-related decisions may deviate from or collide with existing international and national rules.

Workshop Description and Objectives:


The International Cooperation Committee is organizing a workshop on Transportation and Environmental Health Governance. Speakers will examine the intersection of transportation and environmental health governance. They will analyze how the sub-national, national and international laws, regulations, practices and programs intersect and/or collide in the area of governance. The workshop will address topics of Transportation, Environment, and Public Health. Joint presentations on case studies from around the world will be followed by interactive discussions and dialogues. 

The workshop will explore the (a) dynamics of transportation governance around the world; (b) inter and intra dynamics of how decisions are made in consideration of, or in conflict with, sub national, national and international laws, regulations and protocols related to environmental health, and (c) analysis of the ideological discourses, values and norms that influence transportation-related decision making specifically those affecting environmental health. 


Dr. O. A. Elrahman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Presiding 


1. Professor Daniel Sperling, University of California, Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies

TITLE: “Case Study of California Air Resources Board: How to Create Effective Regulatory Governance”

SYNOPSIS: California’s Air Resources Board has been a global model of governance in reducing air pollution. Three organizational attributes explain this success: 1) strong technical competence; 2) strong culture of engagement; and 3) political independence.

2. Professor Rae Zimmerman, New York University – Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems.

TITLE: The Role of Transportation Policies, Protocols and Regulations for People, Goods and Vector Movement in Mitigating Environmental Health Risks

SYNOPSIS: The transport of goods (including food), vectors, and people have implications for the spread of health risks via transportation modes that potentially contribute to environmental health issues. Protocols, practices, and regulations have an important role in mitigating health risks. These factors are discussed, including the implications of increasing concentration of goods distribution centers, changes in vector characteristics, travel patterns, and the ability of governance systems to address these changes.

3. Dr. Claudia Adriazola-Steil & Dr. Amit Bhatt, World Resource Institute.

TITLE: Mobility Patterns, Physical Activities and Safety: Case Studies from Ahmedabad and Mexico City

SYNOPSIS: The title and abstract of our presentation will be: "Moving towards complete streets: neighborhood impacts on health from improvements in bus priority and active transport on urban arterial road in Mexico City and beyond". In this research we explore the relationship of implementing a BRT lane in an arterial street in Mexico City and its impact on traffic safety, air quality and physical activity. The results show positive impact for health and provides also cues for further research, as well as for adjusting some elements of the design to have greater positive impact”.

4. Dr. Jennifer Mindell, University College of London.

TITLE: Transport Strategies and Health Impact Assessment: Lessons from Greater London

SYNOPSIS: The Mayor of London, responsible for developing pan-London strategies, agreed that a health impact assessment (HIA) should be undertaken for each. I will describe the background to this policy; the HIA we undertook on the first Mayoral Transport Strategy and how we influenced it; and how HIA has become embedded into wider impact assessment in Greater London. There may be a 2016 revised Transport Strategy and HIA to discuss by January 2017 but we have a new Mayor so timings aren’t yet known!



Heidi Guenin, GridWorks, Presiding 


1. Angelos Bekiaris, Hellenic Institute of Transportation (HIT)

TITLE: Aging Populations and Mobility Policies: Implications on Safety, Health and the Environment

SYNOPSIS: The continuously increasing aging populations is a global situation and the application of suitable and fitting policies has become a necessity. A solid framework is expected to be implemented for improving their mobility activities on a daily basis. 

A new approach should be considered for the new generations of older users who are now becoming well-adopters of technologies. Within such a framework, the older travellers’ mobility needs might change because new types of vehicles will emerge (e.g. autonomous passenger cars and Internet of Things (IoT) will offer omnipresent services, support, control and interactions). 

Current research projects can be used as testbeds for collecting evidence-based data that will drive the “so-much-needed” strategies. Provision of services targeted to older users can further support evidence-based research in their transport needs across various modes. 

This new approach in preparing strategies that may affect policy and political decisions may erase any misconceptions about the role of users in their independent mobility. As such, the role of older travellers, drivers, commuters, etc. should be taken into account in order to achieve safer travelling for them (i.e. collaborating with older people and end-user organizations in order their voices to be heard). 

It is imperative to capture the whole travelling experience and not only the limitations of the older traveler. In other words, roads need to become safer for older drivers and new emerging technologies can play an important role in creating “elderly-safe” infrastructure. Vehicles should be adapted to the needs of older drivers’ health conditions and any probable anticipated deterioration. Enhancing health and wellbeing attitudes can widen the travelling options and increase autonomous mobility and support among older users. The same holds true if we increase environmental awareness in older travelers about the benefits of public transport and alternative modes (e.g. walking, bicycle). 

Educational campaigns can be prepared and disseminated with older travelers being a priority as well as their travelling issues. The strategies should place emphasis on the implementation of measures in order to keep older people mobile and independent for longer. In this context, fitness to drive and subsequent driving cessation are important aspects that affect older driver’s daily experience but they are the not the only priorities with regards to their everyday mobility activities. Thus, an accommodating and permissive approach is necessary rather than an authoritarian one. 

This new approach can incorporate both past experiences from older people travelling patterns and future technologies that will certainly change the transportation landscape until 2030. 

2. Josias Zietsman, Texas A&M Transportation Institute

TITLE: Changing Paradigms of Transportation and their Link to Health  


Transportation agencies in the U.S. are bound by several federal mandates that provide a framework for their general operation. Environmental and health issues are primarily addressed through planning-level requirements aimed at air quality issues (transportation conformity through the Clean Air Act), and at the project level to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  Recently, there is a shift in how environmental and health issues are being addressed at the federal, state, and local levels, as agencies move towards more integrated planning, interagency cooperation, and an emphasis on topics such as livability, sustainability, and quality of life. This presentation discusses this paradigm shift, and provides an overview of selected research studies. 

3. Daniel Rodriguez, University of California, Berkeley.

TITLE: Opportunities for considering health in urban transportation policy making in Latin America



In this presentation, I will review prevalent mass transit policies in Latin America, identifying current values and norms that have dictated transportation decision-making recently. These norms frequently ignore environmental and population health. However, the emergence of health impact assessment, together with the popularization of models to quantify mortality and morbidity impacts of transportation decisions (e.g., WHO's HEAT model and the Dynamo model), are likely to have a significant influence on mass transit policies in the near future. Challenges and next steps are identified.

4. Dr. Lynn Scholl: Inter-American Development Bank

TITLE: Urban Transport and Poverty:  Mobility and Accessibility Effects of Bus Rapid Transit Systems in Cali and Lima


This research sets out to examine the effects of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems on mobility and accessibility of the poor in the cities of Cali, Colombia, and Lima, Peru. The research contributes to existing evidence on the effects of BRT on accessibility, focusing on socially vulnerable populations and drawing insights for current transport policy and practice in cities of Latin America. We identify determinants of and barriers to BRT use among the poor in Lima and Cali, the degree of system coverage, affordability, and spatial accessibility, and the relative roles of access times, in-vehicle time, and monetary costs in explaining mobility preferences. The selected case studies are characterized by high concentrations of low-income population in increasingly outlying areas and often in informal settlements marked by lack of or low-quality transportation infrastructure, challenging the cities’ ability to provide formal public transit coverage for the very poor. System coverage in low-income areas is substantially wider in Cali than in Lima. In Lima the system coverage and frequency tend to benefit the middle class the most, while lower-income groups experience variable levels of coverage. The research also explores the role of informal transport in relation to levels of coverage and integration of the BRT system, particularly in Lima. In this case, informal modes play an important role as a feeder service to and from the BRT trunk; serving 30% of all BRT trunk line, compared to just 2% in Cali. Our analysis also reveals affordability issues of the BRTs for the poor at the tariffs required to cover operational costs, particularly if used for all trips. Insights from primary data are used to complement the analysis in relation to users’ preferences and willingness to pay for the use of transport. The research provides empirical and conceptual reflections on the multi-dimensional contribution of transit investments to the mobility and accessibility of the poor, identifying areas for policy development and decision-making in each of the case studies.

Title Presentation Number

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