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Belfast Healthy Cities

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Healthy Cities 21st Century

Travel Plans: Improving Health

Travel Plans: Improving Health

Belfast Healthy Cities has developed a new publication outlining the importance of travel planning in tackling health inequality. ‘Travel Plans: Improving Health’ details how effective travel planning can improve levels of physical activity and help tackle obesity, through promoting walking and cycling as a mode of travel, as well as encouraging greater use of public transport and reducing carbon emissions.

The publication is intended to support Health and Social Care organisations in developing healthy travel plans. It was launched at a seminar in Belfast which included inputs from Belfast Healthy Cities, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Travelwise NI and a keynote address from international travel planning expert, Leo Kosonen, who has developed a ‘three urban fabrics’ model for the Finnish city of Kuopio.

Speaking at the launch, Joan Devlin, Director of Belfast Healthy Cities, said:

Not all members of society have fair and equal access to transport, making it vital that reducing and preventing health inequalities is considered during the development and implementation of travel plans. Belfast Healthy Cities has worked closely alongside travel managers and health improvement staff to produce a publication which we believe can act as a blueprint for how Northern Ireland should approach travel planning."

Leo Kosonen, in his address, commented:

"The ‘three urban fabrics model’ which includes a walkable city, transit city and car city, aims to create sustainable, healthy and liveable places, which support people to live physically and socially active lives."

“The Kuopio model supports active travel and public transport as the main modes of travel, but also facilitates car travel for people living further away from the urban centre. It has influenced planning across Finland, and is used in a number of cities and towns which are seeking to create better environments for residents.“

Travel Plans: Improving Health was developed as part of the regional Climate Change and Health Group which is chaired by Dr Elizabeth Mitchell, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety and supported by Ruth Fleming, Belfast Healthy Cities.

Representatives from four of the Health and Social Care Trusts throughout Northern Ireland supported the development of the publication, as did representatives from Public Health Agency, and Travelwise NI.

Leo Kosonen Presentation (10.58MB)

Belfast Healthy Cities Presentation (462kb)

Belfast HSC Trust Presentation (1.5MB)

TravelWise NI Presentation (305kb)