The Health and Transportation Nexus: A Conceptual Framework for Collaborative Health and Transportation Planning

Principal Investigator(s):

Yingling Fan, Associate Dean for Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

Transportation is a crucial contributor to health. It not only directly shapes the social and physical environments but also determines the type of places where people can live, learn, work, and play in their everyday lives. This project develops a conceptual framework for collaborative and equitable health and transportation planning by extending the social determinants of health framework to include three major pathways through which transportation factors operate on health and equity outcomes. The three major pathways are behavioral health, environmental health, and social exclusion, which are identified via a thorough review of the academic literature and gray resources on health and transportation connections. Of the three pathway mechanisms, social exclusion and environmental health are intrinsically linked to social equity and justice issues. Researchers further review state-level initiatives linking transportation to health and interview six state departments of transportation that are pioneers in advocating and implementing integrated health and transportation planning. The interview results are summarized and discussed in the project report. Based on the interviews, the research team makes recommendations for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to help further its efforts on integrated health and transportation planning.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2022007
  • Start date: 06/2021
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Health, Planning