Collection cover image

Active Transportation and the City

Transportation lies as a key element in improving cities altogether. Acting as the connection between the social, economic, and commercial opportunities of the urban sphere with its people, transportation is what allows the city to function, but different modes of transportation affect the shape and health of public space. This research focused on how active transportation in cities affects public health and livability while also looking into how public transportation can help facilitate the development of a walkable city. The primary push for advocating for active transportation systems arises from the potential health benefits that such systems could provide. Thus, many pieces collected for this project focused on the physical health effects associated active transportation and public transportation (Djurhuus et al., 2014; Frank et al., 2006; Garfinkel-Castro et al., 2017; Giles-Corti et al., 2016; Mueller et al, 2015; Nieuwenhuijsen, 2018; Patterson et. al., 2019; Stankov et al., 2020; ), especially when contrasted with private cars and other motor vehicles (Nieuwenhuijsen, 2018; Rabl & de Nazelle, 2012). In addition to how these systems improve physical health, articles were included that depict information to how active transportation affects mental health (Lukmanji et al., 2020; Martin, Goryakin, & Suhrcke, 2014) and social well-being (Bird et al., 2018; Van Holle et al., 2016). Wishing to develop a deeper sense of how to approach implementation of walkable infrastructure into urban spaces, pieces were included to consider what challenges arise when planning or implementing such (Omura et al., 2020; Piatkowski, Marshall, & Krizek, 2017). Believing that it is in the best interests of cities to be equally beneficial to its citizens, I have included articles depicting how access equity can be better achieved in cities through these active transportation systems (Lee, Sener, & Jones, 2016). Although much of this research is about the elements of active transportation, there was interest in how automobile reliant transportation systems and planning compares to active or public transportation. For this, articles comparing the advantages and benefits of these systems were included for this project (Martin, Goryakin, & Suhrcke, 2014; Rabl & de Nazelle, 2012). Looking into the future for active transportation lies heavily on looking to what has not worked so far and what needs to be done to facilitate the development of these systems. A few pieces highlight what needs to change in the current system to move forward (Lee, Sener, & Jones, 2016; Omura et al., 2020) while other pieces identify tools that can help route urban policies and planning to improving the circumstances for active transit and public transportation development (Frank et al., 2006; Higgs et al., 2019). Altogether, the pieces collected for this project act together to present an overwhelming case for improvement in urban spaces through the promotion and implementation of active transportation systems, much of which considers the importance of public transit as the means by which such systems may be realizable.