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Theme 4: Project 7 - Methods for assessing the public health benefits of local transport interventions
Given the large contribution of transport emissions to air pollution concentrations, transport interventions have an important role in reducing air pollution concentrations and are therefore a focus for Theme IV. In addition, transport interventions within cities are also important for the Environmental Change and Health HPRU, Theme 2 on healthy, sustainable cities. The Environmental Change and Health HPRU covers air pollution research in relation to the wider long-term health benefits (or harms) associated with environmental change policies (e.g. climate change mitigation). A joint project will be developed to take advantage of the synergies between the two HPRUs using the health impact assessment methodological expertise in this HPRU and the link to wider benefits in the Environmental Change HPRU.
There are particular challenges in assessing the air pollution health impacts of local transport interventions as (i) the epidemiological studies on which concentration-response functions are based are not necessarily at the fine spatial scale required for assessing the impact of concentration changes at roadsides; (ii) the population affected may be very small for any individual policy; (iii) health impact assessment of other risk factors may be less well developed than for air pollution; (iv) changes in transport behaviour change personal exposure to air pollution and the links between the broader exposure metrics used in epidemiological studies and personal exposure is poorly understood. Two workshops discussing these issues have been organised and some possible approaches to addressing these issues explored.