Robert Macey, Department of TPLI: Public Transport, Health and Well-being


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Robert Macey, Director, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure delivered this presentation at the 2013 Social Determinants of Health conference. The conference brought together health, social services and public policy organisations to discuss how social determinants affect the health of the nation and to consider how policy decisions can be targeted to reduce health inequities. The agenda facilitated much needed discussion on new approaches to manage social determinants of health and bridge the gap in health between the socially disadvantaged and the broader Australian population. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website:

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Robert Macey, Department of TPLI: Public Transport, Health and Well-being

  1. 1. Public Transport, Health and Well-Being Social Determinants of Health Conference, Sydney, December 2013 Robert Macey, Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure
  2. 2. World Health Organisation “Cycling, walking and the use of public transport promote health in four ways. They provide exercise, reduce fatal accidents, increase social contact and reduce air pollution.” Social Determinants of Health: the Solid Facts - 2nd edition - World Health Organization 2003
  3. 3. Active transport health benefits (WHO) Physical activity • Less coronary heart disease • Less high blood pressure • Less type 2 diabetes More use of public transport • More walking, cycling or active transport • Lower BMI/less obesity More infrastructure facilitating public transport use • More walking, cycling or active transport • Lower BMI/less obesity • Lower air pollution exposure/effects
  4. 4. Public transport users get daily dose of exercise (Victoria) Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA)
  5. 5. Obesity and active transport (Litman)
  6. 6. The cost of inactivity • $1.5bn a year and the economy $13bn a year (Medicare) • Anxiety and depression
  7. 7. Public transport and well-being Social Exclusion Unit UK Liveability Options in Outer Suburban Melbourne • Problems with transport provision can reinforce social exclusion • Growth areas a key concern World Health Organisation • Promotes access to employment and services Institute of Transport Studies (Monash University) • Integrated planning as much a component of disadvantage
  8. 8. Liveability informing well-being • Public transport is a key indicator for liveability Place, Health and Liveability Research Program Research Paper 1 June 2013 • “… the quality of green space, shop locations and designs, bike and footpath locations, access to public transport, all make a big difference to health, both mental and physical.” Professor Giles-Corti, National Centre for Excellence in Healthy, Equitable and Liveable Communities
  9. 9. Changing minds, changing modes • Creating healthier “micro-environments” in transport • A city of “20 minute neighbourhoods”
  10. 10. Health in infrastructure cost benefit analysis • Traditional CBA doesn’t quantify the range of health benefits/impacts of projects • Does the challenge of quantifying health impacts represent a gap in policy assessment? • World Bank guidance – – Multi-criteria analysis (socioeconomic factors weighed) Cost Effectiveness Analysis (cost of intervention with predicted impact)
  11. 11. “Healthy public policy” and challenges Cross departmental policy making? A wider transport agenda? Well-being in government decision making?