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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/14385

Title: Integrated health impact assessment of travel behaviour: model exploration and application to a fuel price increase
Authors: Dhondt, Stijn
Kochan, Bruno
Beckx, Carolien
Lefebvre, Wouter
Pirdavani, Ali
Degraeuwe, Bart
Bellemans, Tom
Int Panis, Luc
Macharis, Cathy
Putman, Koen
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Transportation policy measures often aim to change travel behaviour towards more efficient transport. While these policy measures do not necessarily target health, these could have an indirect health effect. We evaluate the health impact of a policy resulting in an increase of car fuel prices by 20% on active travel, outdoor air pollution and risk of road traffic injury. An integrated modelling chain is proposed to evaluate the health impact of this policy measure. An activity-based transport model estimated movements of people, providing whereabouts and travelling kilometres. An emission- and dispersion model provided air quality levels (elemental carbon) and a road safety model provided the number of fatal and non-fatal traffic victims. We used kilometres travelled while walking or cycling to estimate the time in active travel. Differences in health effects between the current and fuel price scenario were expressed in Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY). A 20% fuel price increase leads to an overall gain of 1650 (1010–2330) DALY. Prevented deaths lead to a total of 1450 (890–2040) Years Life Gained (YLG), with better air quality accounting for 530 (180–880) YLG, fewer road traffic injuries for 750 (590–910) YLG and active travel for 170 (120–250) YLG. Concerning morbidity, mostly road safety led to 200 (120–290) fewer Years Lived with Disability (YLD), while air quality improvement only had a minor effect on cardiovascular hospital admissions. Air quality improvement and increased active travel mainly had an impact at older age, while traffic safety mainly affected younger and middle-aged people. This modelling approach illustrates the feasibility of a comprehensive health impact assessment of changes in travel behaviour. Our results suggest that more is needed than a policy rising car fuel prices by 20% to achieve substantial health gains. While the activity-based model gives an answer on what the effect of a proposed policy is, the focus on health may make policy integration more tangible. The model can therefore add to identifying win–win situations for both transport and health.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/14385
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2012.10.005
ISI #: 000314618100006
ISSN: 0160-4120
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2014
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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