Health in sustainable development - barriers and drivers in implementing sustainable transport policy in Copenhagen, London, Mumbai, and Shanghai
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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A153
Background: Anthropogenic-induced greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter exposure have health impacts both locally and globally. Sustainable transport policy formation and implementation is one way to reduce these. Several cities have sustainable transport policies, with one principle to encourage a shift from private motor vehicles to public and active transport. However, there has been little analysis examining if drivers and barriers of their uptake are acknowledged in policy.   Aim: To assess if known context-dependent barriers and drivers of active and public transport uptake are acknowledged in sustainable transport policy to enable successful implementation and thus improve human health.    Methodology: Transport policies of four cities – Copenhagen, London, Mumbai, and Shanghai – were examined for barriers/drivers of active and public transport uptake. A literature review with systematic approach was then carried out to ascertain evidence-based barriers/drivers in the same four cities. Four academic databases were searched, resultsing in 30 peer-reviewed research papers being included in a thematic analysis.    Results: Five dominant themes emerged from the literature review: 1) modifiable social environment, 2) physical environment, 3) transport policy decisions, 4) transport conditions, and 5) individual factors. Cost and speed of active and public transport options were important across all cities. There were differences in focus: for example, crowding in Mumbai, and the symbolism of car-ownership in middle-income cities. The Results also made clear a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work due to context-specific heterogeneity, and the gap in middle-income-based literature, particularly around active transport in Mumbai.      Conclusions: Many of the literature review-identified barriers/drivers were not acknowledged in the four city’s transport policies. There were also barriers/drivers identified in policy which were not featured in the evidence-base. To ensure successful implementation of policy, context-specific evidence must inform it, with a Health in All Policies approach to ensure health benefits are gained.