Our past and current paradigm of transportation investment has created a transportation system that is focused on road building and the private auto. This system has given our country an unprecedented level of individual mobility and facilitated economic growth from coast to coast. As important as these benefits are, they have come at a high price—costs to our environment and the health of our communities. These negative outcomes have the largest effect on those who aremost vulnerable—the elderly, children, and traditionally underserved and disadvantaged (low income and non-white/ethnic minority) communities—the most, through greater adverse health impacts and through a relative lack of access to economic, recreational, and social opportunities.
This document outlines ways the public health community can create the political support, funding systems and evaluative methods necessary to engineer physical activity and safety back into everyday lives.