Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Print version ISSN 0042-9686
DORA, Carlos and RACIOPPI, Francesca. Including health in transport policy agendas: the role of health impact assessment analyses and procedures in the European experience. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2003, vol.81, n.6, pp. 399-403. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862003000600007.
From the mid-1990s, research began to highlight the importance of a wide range of health impacts of transport policy decisions. The Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health adopted a Charter on Transport, Environment and Health based on four main components: bringing awareness of the nature, magnitude and costs of the health impacts of transport into intergovernmental processes; strengthening the arguments for integration of health into transport policies by developing in-depth analysis of the evidence; developing national case studies; and engaging ministries of environment, health and transport as well as intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Negotiation of the Charter was based on two converging processes: the political process involved the interaction of stakeholders in transport, health and environment in Europe, which helped to frame the issues and the approaches to respond to them; the scientific process involved an international group of experts who produced state-of- the-art reviews of the health impacts resulting from transportation activities, identifying gaps in existing knowledge and methodological tools, specifying the policy implications of their findings, and suggesting possible targets for health improvements. Health arguments were used to strengthen environmental ones, clarify costs and benefits, and raise issues of health equity. The European experience shows that HIA can fulfil the need for simple procedures to be systematically applied to decisions regarding transport strategies at national, regional and local levels. Gaps were identified concerning models for quantifying health impacts and capacity building on how to use such tools.
Keywords : Transportation; Health status; Environmental health; Risk assessment; Public policy; Policy making; Risk assessment; Treaties; Intersectoral cooperation; Models, Statistical; Europe.