Incorporating Public Health Outcomes into the Transportation Planning and Decision-Making Process

The integration of public health considerations into transportation planning and decision-making processes is essential for creating sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy communities. Transportation systems directly impact public health outcomes, including physical activity levels, air quality, safety, and access to health care. Policies and decisions related to transportation infrastructure, land use, and the built environment can have differential impacts on public health outcomes in various populations, leading to health disparities and inequities. Disadvantaged communities, including low-income neighborhoods and marginalized populations, often bear a disproportionate burden of negative health impacts associated with transportation systems and decisions. Evaluating the effectiveness of policy interventions and best practices for incorporating public health considerations is crucial for improving transportation planning processes. Several challenges exist in incorporating public health outcomes into the transportation planning and decision-making processes. First, public health agencies and transportation agencies often operate in silos with limited collaboration and coordination. The lack of interdisciplinary cooperation poses challenges in aligning public health goals with transportation plans and policies. There is limited documented research related to successful collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships between public health agencies and transportation agencies, though the two are closely linked. Additionally, current transportation planning processes often lack evaluation frameworks and methodologies and comprehensive data and metrics to quantify and assess the public health impacts of transportation projects and policies. This lack of data and tools limits the ability of transportation planners and decision-makers to evaluate and prioritize proposed projects and policies based on their potential health outcomes. The objective of this research is to develop a guide that details how to integrate public health and transportation project decision-making to help state departments of transportation (DOTs) (1) address the social determinants of health in transportation planning and describe how public health will be incorporated into planning documents, (2) implement strategies and tools that better incorporate land use and built environment considerations into transportation planning and identify linkages to public health outcomes, (3) foster effective collaboration between public health professionals and transportation planners, and (4) develop evaluation frameworks and metrics that allow for the assessment of the public health outcomes related to transportation planning and decision-making.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-135

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, Camille

  • Start Date: 20240520
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01919360
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-135
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 22 2024 2:34PM