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Open AccessArticle

Integrated Impact Assessment of Active Travel: Expanding the Scope of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Walking and Cycling

1
School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
2
Department of Health, Swiss Distance University of Applied Science (FFHS), CH-8105 Regensdorf, Switzerland
3
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich, CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
5
Centre for Exercise, Nutrition & Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TZ, UK
6
Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, UK
7
Ecoplan AG, CH-3011 Bern, Switzerland
8
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
9
Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK
10
WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207361
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 2 October 2020 / Accepted: 4 October 2020 / Published: 9 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
The World Health Organization’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling is a user-friendly web-based tool to assess the health impacts of active travel. HEAT, developed over 10 years ago, has been used by researchers, planners and policymakers alike in appraisals of walking and cycling policies at both national and more local scales. HEAT has undergone regular upgrades adopting the latest scientific evidence. This article presents the most recent upgrades of the tool. The health impacts of walking and/or cycling in a specified population are quantified in terms of premature deaths avoided (or caused). In addition to the calculation of benefits derived from physical activity, HEAT was recently expanded to include assessments of the burden associated with air pollution exposure and crash risks while walking or cycling. Further, the impacts on carbon emissions from mode shifts to active travel modes can now be assessed. The monetization of impacts using Value of Statistical Life and Social Costs of Carbon now uses country-specific values. As active travel inherently results in often substantial health benefits as well as not always negligible risks, assessments of active travel behavior or policies are incomplete without considering health implications. The recent developments of HEAT make it easier than ever to obtain ballpark estimates of health impacts and carbon emissions related to walking and cycling. View Full-Text
Keywords: active transportation; health impact assessment; physical activity; air pollution; traffic safety; carbon emissions; monetization; online tool active transportation; health impact assessment; physical activity; air pollution; traffic safety; carbon emissions; monetization; online tool
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Götschi, T.; Kahlmeier, S.; Castro, A.; Brand, C.; Cavill, N.; Kelly, P.; Lieb, C.; Rojas-Rueda, D.; Woodcock, J.; Racioppi, F. Integrated Impact Assessment of Active Travel: Expanding the Scope of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Walking and Cycling. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7361.

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