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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation
OFFICE OF RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE TURNER-FAIRBANK HIGHWAY RESEARCH CENTER

Primer on Health, Equity, and Transportation

Project Information

Project Abstract:

The objective of this research is to develop information that will help transportation practitioners gather data, conduct assessments, and form partnerships needed to more equitably invest in projects that would improve safety, health outcomes, natural environment, and quality of life in traditionally underserved areas. 

This research project includes producing a primer that helps transportation practitioners invest in healthier streets by understanding the data, methodologies, tools, and assessment techniques available and partnerships needed for including equity considerations in communities, with a special focus on air quality, noise, and greenhouse gas.  A standalone fact sheet for transportation practitioners that demonstrates the connection between healthy streets and transportation equity is also provided.  The primer and fact sheet will use material from the literature review.

Project Status:
Completed
Project Funding Amount (Contract Award Amount):
$95,055.79
Start Date:
End Date:
Public Access Plan:
Yes
Grant/Contract ID:
  • GS-00F-252CA, 693JJ321F000415
FHWA Program Area:
  • Planning, Environment, and Realty
Fiscal Year / AMRP Program / AMRP Activity:
  • FY 2002-2022 / Planning, Environment, and Realty / Planning for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Connectivity, and Multimodal Mobility, including for Underserved Communities
FHWA Activity:
  • Data and Analysis
Project Outputs:

This research project produced a literature review, primer, and fact sheet. The primer is designed to help transportation professionals understand transportation as a social determinant of health, and how transportation-related air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, and heat exposure affect health outcomes, particularly for underserved communities.

Additionally, the primer provides insights on how the inequities inherent in transportation systems increase health risks for underserved communities. This primer provides resources and strategies that transportation professionals can use to promote more equitable outcomes from investments in transportation infrastructure. The primer also provides information on screening tools and computer models that planners can use to assess these key topics and evaluate the impact on underserved communities. 

The fact sheet is a short 2-page document that summarizes the findings of the primer.

Project Outcomes/Impact:
  • Identify key statistics, facts, and figures that describe challenges and issues facing minority communities or low-income communities in North America.
  • Identify transportation-related challenges faced in underserved communities in North America that transportation equity is intended to address, including to name a few:

            - Safety

            - Air Quality (including greenhouse gases)

            - Noise

            - Social Determinants of Health

  • Identify tools and resources to assess the air quality, greenhouse gases, safety, urban heat islands, tree canopies, and other issues identified as critical by the community (noise, transit access, etc.)
  • Show the importance of partnering with experts in collecting data, modeling and assessment, community engagement, purchasing and deploying technologies and applications to mitigate air pollution, urban heat island hot spots, safety concerns, etc., in areas used by transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Illustrate the importance of having meaningful engagement with the community.

AMRP = Annual Modal Research Plan

Contact Information

Team:
Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team
Office:
Office of Natural Environment
Office Code:
HEPN-10

Management Organizations

Sponsor Organization

Organization Role:
Sponsor Organization
Organization:
Federal Highway Administration: Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty - Office of Natural Environment
Contact Role:
Contract Office Representative

Managing Organization

Organization Role:
Sponsor Organization
Organization:
Federal Highway Administration: Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty - Office of Natural Environment
Contact Role:
Contract Office Representative

Performing Organization

Organization Role:
Sponsor Organization
Organization:
Federal Highway Administration: Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty - Office of Natural Environment
Contact Role:
Contract Office Representative