1:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Course ID
Spring 2018

Transportation systems affect human health through complex pathways. Governments invest in transport infrastructure because it encourages economic growth and mobility of people and goods, which have direct and indirect benefits to health. Yet, an excessive reliance on motorized modes of transport harms population health, the environment and social wellbeing. The impact on population health is substantial: Globally, road traffic crashes kill over 1.3 million annually. Air pollution, to which transport is an important contributor, kills another 3.2 million people. Motorized modes of transport are also an important contributor to sedentary lifestyles. Physical inactivity is estimated to cause 3.2 million deaths every year, globally. This course will introduce students to thinking about transportation as a technological system that affects human health and wellbeing through intended and unintended mechanisms. The course will examine the complex relationship between transportation, land use, urban form, and geography, and explore how decisions in other sectors affect transportation systems, and how these in turn affect human health. Students will learn to recognize how the system level properties of a range of transportation systems (such as limited-access highways, urban mass transit, inter-city rail) affect human health. The course reviews the pathways through which road transport impacts population health and focuses on how to measure these impacts, and how to compare them with other leading causes of health loss.