ActivEarth’s research agenda integrates multiple disciplines including active transportation, health, environment, economics and policy. Built upon a foundation of science, ActiveEarth will provide leadership to the cause of global health and sustainable human development in a variety of settings.
ActivEarth facilitates the education and influencing of governments, relevant business and civil society to the role of active transportation and its co-benefits for economic development, environmental improvement and future sustainability.
Going beyond education, ActivEarth also equips and mobilizes healthcare providers, public health workers, individuals, organizations, colleges and universities to lead change within their spheres of influence. With a special emphasis on city government, ActivEarth focuses on the interplay among the built environment and the power of walkable and recreational spaces to impact the environment and stimulate commercial investment and business growth.
ActivEarth will be the leader in innovative collaboration with those in civil society, government and other sectors, leveraging strategic intersections that promote active transportation, a strong economy and a clean environment. The initiative seeks partnerships within industry that can produce capacity for expansion and sustainability in promoting active transportation as a means to improve global health, the environment and economies.
ActivEarth advocates for effective and innovative policies and programs that support active transportation and its co-benefits.
We find ourselves at a crossroad when it comes to physical inactivity and its negative effects on quality life, the environment and the economy. Do we continue down our current path and face the consequences, or change course and pursue a brighter future? ActivEarth recognizes the ramifications of the status quo and is driving change by addressing the challenges people and their communities face because of a lack of physical activity. Consider the following:
• Of the 36 million deaths each year from noncommunicable diseases, physical inactivity and smoking each contribute about 5 million.”(Lancet 2012)
• 27 percent of all trips are one mile or less according to the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS 2009), an easily bikeable or walkable distance
• According the EPA, in the U.S., the transportation sector accounts for approximately 33 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, the largest share of any end-use economic sector in 2007.
• According to a 2008 study by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a modest increase in bicycling and walking would save 3 billion gallons of gasoline and keep 28 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
• According to the CDC, The potential savings if all inactive American adults became physically active could be $76.6 billion in 2000 dollars.
The problems are clear. ActivEarth is part of the solution.
The event focused on the evidence base as well as discussion of key tools and metrics for active transportation. Visit the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science website to access conference abstracts and presentations. Go there now.
Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) are a means of assessing the health impacts of policies, plans, and projects in various economic sectors using quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods. Transportation systems contribute to traffic injuries, air pollution, diseases resulting from physical inactivity, and noise. However, these risks can be reduced by “healthy transport policies” that promote walking and cycling. In April, 2015, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) held a joint conference on “Moving Active Transportation to Higher Ground” conference held in Washington, DC. This webinar is a direct result of the conference, and features some of the key speakers. View the webinar now.