Transport Insights
11/ 12 Baggot Court, Dublin 2, D02 F891
Tel: +353 1 685 2279 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +353 1 685 2279 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Blog

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Sinead Flavin, Transport Insights Project Manager

Sinead Flavin has recently been engaged by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to provide support to their Smarter Travel Workplaces programme.

Speaking on the appointment, Transport Insights' Managing Director, Ciaran McKeon commented "building on behavioral change and sustainable transport expertise within Transport Insights core team, we are delighted to have been appointed by NTA to support them in this crucial area of work."

 

 

 

The past

pic1Remember the good old days?  The days of economic growth and jobs for all?  The time when a peak hour journey on Dublin’s M50 motorway filled the region’s commuters with dread and horror?  Dublin Transportation Office’s (DTO) annual Road User Monitoring Reports provide tangible evidence of the experiences of commuters in the time preceding the M50 Upgrade scheme, completed three years ago this September.  For example, average 2004 morning peak journey times on the M50 between Malahide Road/ N32 and the Ballinteer Road junction of 43 minutes[1] were recorded, with poor journey time reliability, in particular in the PM peak, a further undesirable side effect of too many people using too little space.  More recent data[2] from late 2006/ early 2007 show comparable journey times of 67 minutes, although the timing of these surveys likely coincided with M50 Upgrade construction works.

Considering health and the environment in our work as transport planners

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Figure 1  The Value of Place (courtesy of pps.org)

Planning, environmental considerations and health are historically linked. Modern urban planning practices as we know them came about in response to the spread of infectious diseases through poor air and water quality in the tenement buildings of developing industrial cities of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  In response, policies and legislative acts were enacted to address the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis.  Authorities had to plan for proper sanitation, the delivery of clean water, and introduce building codes to alleviate overcrowding and the likelihood of fire.  A move to new lower density planned areas from the crammed of inner city tenements had a positive effect on population health in Dublin [1].  While this suburbanisation model proved it had many health benefits, recent research has shown us that its health impacts are not all positive.  The relationship between the design of our neighbourhoods, road networks and transport systems and our health is complex.  My pursuits as a multi-disciplinary researcher highlighted to me the extent to which we professionally exist within our silos.  Therefore, in this article I hope to draw attention to some of the issues that deserve our consideration when approaching a project, or plan, to ensure a healthy population which is critical for sustainability[2].  In particular, I would like to address a common misconception among the transportation community that our role in improving population health solely lies in increasing the number of people walking and cycling! 

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