More Transportation Choices Lead to Better Health, Better Communities, and a Healthier Planet

  • Date: 03/11/2024

Transportation and land use have an outsize impact on what the World Health Organization calls the “social determinants of health.” These are factors defined as the “conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that shape health.”

As a publication from the American Public Health Association puts it, “transportation is a driver of community health” because it “affects our ability to access jobs, education, healthy food, social engagements, faith-based institutions, and health care.”

The ability to get around is so fundamental that some policymakers and scholars have argued it is a basic right. Mexico, for example, recently amended its constitution to declare that “Every person has the right to mobility under conditions of safety, accessibility, efficiency, sustainability, quality, inclusion and equality.” It’s an aspirational goal—one which activists and governments continue to work to define—but a thought-provoking one.

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