New South Wales Public Health Bulletin New South Wales Public Health Bulletin Society
Supporting public health practice in New South Wales

The co-benefits for health of investing in active transportation

Billie Giles-Corti A D , Sarah Foster A , Trevor Shilton B and Ryan Falconer C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for the Built Environment and Health, School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia

B Heart Foundation of Australia, Perth

C FormerlyA, now Sinclair Knight Merz, Perth

D Corresponding author. Email:

NSW Public Health Bulletin 21(6) 122-127
Published: 16 July 2010


Amid growing concerns about the impact of rising obesity and physical inactivity levels, climate change, population growth, increasing traffic congestion and declining oil supplies, multiple sectors are now promoting active transportation as an alternative to driving. This paper considers the health benefits and co-benefits of investing in active transportation, enabling comparison of policy options to optimise societal objectives aimed at creating healthy, socially and environmentally sustainable communities. Policies promoting the use of both energy-efficient motor vehicles and increased active transportation would almost double the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and would reduce disease burden by increasing physical activity. More co-benefit and economic analyses research is required to inform ‘joined-up’ policy solutions.


BGC is supported by a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow Award (#503712) and SF by a NHMRC Capacity Building Grant (#458668). The editorial assistance provided by Lisa Bayly is gratefully acknowledged.


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