Developed by Seabourne Consulting, experts in Active Transportation

Active Transportation


Active Transportation refers to walking, biking or using transit that requires physical activity, such as taking the subway. Investments to increase active transportation  (e.g. sidewalks,  better roads, and transit) help decrease air pollution and greenhouse gasses contributing to climate change, and thus address many environmental challenges and benefit overall community health. In addition to creating more active environments, investments in active transportation infrastructure help improve spatial equity—while improving safety, accessibility, and mobility for all. Active transportation affects people’s quality of life, increases economic opportunities for community members, and enhances public resources. People who use active transportation are more physically fit and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to people who only use motorized transportation. Although active transportation works for all kinds of communities, it is not always an option for everyone. Urban residents are more likely to have access to active transportation activities than rural residents.


Due to its many health benefits, increasing active transportation is an important opportunity to increase community well-being. Since inadequate infrastructure in minority and low-income communities often prevents people from using active transportation; these communities could benefit more from investments in active transportation.. Equity considerations in active transportation planning in the United States are under-researched. To enable people to access and benefit from active transportation, equity must be prioritized in planning processes. Engaging those with live experience in a given community, and analysis of race, gender, age, and income in disadvantaged communities would be helpful in identifying disparities in active transportation access and use.


Investing in pedestrian facilities, bike lanes, parks, and walkable sidewalks creates opportunities for people to exercise. Prioritizing infrastructure improvements and providing safe roadway crossing for pedestrians will help change at scale. Small block sizes, pedestrian refuge islands and crow-walks are community-based change efforts that can help increase active transportation. Increasing active transportation among residents contributes to increased overall community well-being.



Resources & Tools


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The Case for Healthy Places: Improving Health Outcomes through Placemaking
Resource - Case Study
Brought to you by Project for Public Spaces
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Transportation Health and Equity
Resource - Website/webpage
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Active Design for Community Groups
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by New York State
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RTC Story Bank
Resource
Brought to you by Rails to Trails Conservancy
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Breaking Down Barriers to Fitness
Resource - Website/webpage
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5 Mental Benefits of Exercise
Resource - Journal Article
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Step In to a Walking School Bus Program
Resource - Guide/handbook
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Healthy People 2020: Physical Activity
Resource - Website/webpage
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The Community Guide: Physical Activity
Resource - Website/webpage
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Bright Spot: Safe Routes to Schools
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
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Active Living Toolkit
Resource - Guide/handbook
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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Resource - Guide/handbook
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Bright Spot: Complete Streets Policy
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
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Active Transportation for America
Resource - Assessment/evaluation
Brought to you by Rails to Trails Conservancy
Published on 01/01/2008
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Active Design Supplement: Shaping the Sidewalk Experience
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Center for Active Design
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The Role of Business in Supporting Reliable Transportation
Resource - Policy Brief
Brought to you by WIN Network
Published on 02/25/2021
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Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity
Resource - Website/webpage
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Foot Traffic Ahead
Resource - Case Study
Brought to you by Smart Growth America
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Step it Up! The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities
Resource
Brought to you by Office of the Surgeon General of the United States
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Healthy Food Policy Project Case Studies: Siler City, NC
Resource - Case Study
Brought to you by HFPP
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Bright Spot: Granville Greenways
Resource - Model Policy
Brought to you by 100MHL
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‘Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives
Story - Written
Brought to you by CityLab
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Jay Walljasper Tribute
Story - Written
Brought to you by Community Commons
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Bringing the Vital Conditions to Life: Reliable Transportation
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
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Staff Pick!
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 Related Topics


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Transit System

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Climate Crisis

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Clean Air

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Reliable Transportation

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Physical Activity

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Traffic Safety