WIT Press


HEALTHY ROUTES FOR ACTIVE MODES IN SCHOOL JOURNEYS



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP-V8-N4-591-602

Volume

Volume 8 (2013), Issue 4

Pages

11

Page Range

591 - 602

Author(s)

P. RIBEIRO & J.F.G. MENDES

Abstract

In recent years, walking and cycling to school have decreased conversely to the use of private cars due to its greater level of comfort and safety. However, the use of active modes of transport for short journeys is more economically and socially adequate as well as a healthier way of traveling. Active modes of transport can be defined as means of travel and transportation at low speed, which take up little space on the road, are air and noise non-pollutant, thus being regarded as more sustainable and a real alternative to cars. On the other hand, urban sustainable mobility implies the definition of policies and actions that rely on the promotion of less pollutant, economic, and more equitable modes of transport. To promote this modal shift, some policies focus on the facilities and urban form improvements to increase safety, namely for pedestrians. In this paper a different way to promote the use of active modes in school journeys is proposed and presented, which essentially uses and integrates information from noise and air pollution in the route-planning process to generate healthy routes. The concept of generation of healthy routes was triggered by the need to reduce the exposure to noise and air pollution in school journeys, which can affect the children's health and quality of life. The healthy route model involves the contamination of the distances of the transport network, according to the urban environmental noise levels and the concentration of particles – PM10, thus allowing the defi nition of the less polluted, less noisy and healthier route for active modes. The performance of the model is assessed by calculating the noise and air pollution exposure rates in the obtained routes, in comparison with the shortest route. To validate the model and its potential for the promotion of active modes, a case study is presented in a city center located in North of Portugal for three different school journeys.

Keywords

Active modes, air pollution, cyclists, health, noise, pedestrians, PM10.