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Earlier activities

2003 to 2011

Sustainable Urban Transport

The quality of the urban environment has fundamental effects on human health and well-being. Transport and land-use patterns in urban areas have health consequences in particular through their impact on the air quality and noise, the possibilities for healthy exercise in the form of walking and cycling, the level and severity of road accidents, social cohesion, etc.

Promoting sustainable transport in urban areas through the integration of urban transport management and policies for land-use planning, health and environment, is part of the priority areas for action within THE PEP. As part of the activities carried out, a series of workshops was held with a particular focus on the countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. These workshops brought together relevant actors at the international, national and local levels with the objective to raise awareness of the key issues at stake, to examine good practices at national, regional and local levels in the promotion of environmentally sound and healthy local transport integrated with sustainable land-use planning and to issue recommendations.

Institutional arrangements for policy integration

The integration of environment and health concerns into transport policy is crucial for sustainable development and constitutes one of the priorities for THE PEP.  It is, however, a challenging task to put into practice because of factors such as conflicting interests and priorities between policymakers in different sectors. Institutional conditions are one means of promoting policy integration. They range from merged organizational structures and budgets, at one extreme, to simple sharing of information or appropriate mechanisms for consultation between ministries at the other.

This activity was approved by THE PEP Steering Committee to meet the need expressed by a number of countries, in particular in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern and South-East Europe, to receive concrete and practical guidance on institutional arrangements for policy integration both within and between the central and local administrations.

The activity aimed to contribute to understanding about policy-making processes that integrate transport, environment and health issues more effectively, with a focus on institutional arrangements. Taking stock and building on existing policy documents and publications, it involved establishing and analyzing institutional practice in the UNECE–WHO/Europe region to identify success criteria and barriers to policy integration and examining the ways for the different countries in the region to learn from them.

  • Information about practice concerning institutional arrangements was collected through an on-line questionnaire survey between late 2005 and early 2006.
  • Thereafter a "Workshop on Institutional Arrangements for Policy Integration", was held on 23–24 January 2006 in Berlin to deepen and complete the information obtained and to issue conclusions and further steps.

Related information: Working Together for Sustainable and Healthy Transport: Guidance on Supportive Institutional Conditions for Policy Integration of Transport, Health and Environment

Health impacts of transport

This project was the contribution by Austria, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland to the implementation of THE PEP. It sought to review the state-of-the-art of transport-related health impacts and to evaluate costs and benefits, focusing on air pollution, noise, physical activity and psycho-social impacts, traffic safety and climate change. The project analyzed evidence and methodological issues for the assessment of the health effects of transport on children and the related policy implications. National case studies on estimates of transport-related health costs were carried out. The project then developed recommendations on political implementation strategies. This work also contributed to the development of WHO guidelines on the economic valuation of transport-related health effects.

This project fell under the priority area of THE PEP Work Plan "Demand Side Management and Modal Shift". It covered the field "Promotion, implementation and review of policies designed to internalize the health and environmental externalities (external costs) generated by transport activities" as well as the field "Special care for groups of high risk, in particular children".


At its first session (Geneva, 10-11 April 2003), THE PEP Steering Committee endorsed the project, implemented through a series of workshops organized by Austria, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland

  • Workshop I on "Transport Related Health Impacts - Review of Exposures and Epidemiological Status", hosted by Austria (24-25 April 2003, Vienna).
  • Workshop II on "Economic Valuation of Health Effects due to Transport", hosted by Sweden (12-13 June 2003, Stockholm).
  • Workshop III on "Issues Specific to Children", hosted by the Netherlands (16-17 October 2003, The Hague).
  • Workshop IV on "Synthesis and Recommendations", hosted by Malta (19-20 February 2004)   

At its second session (Geneva, 29-30 March 2004), the Steering Committee considered the principal outcomes of the workshops and the input provided to the development of the European Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE), to be adopted by the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (Budapest, 23-25 June 2004) (see ECE/AC.21/2004/6-EUR/04/5045236/6, presented to the second session of the Steering Committee of THE PEP). The Committee endorsed the proposals for follow-up actions that should contribute to the further implementation of THE PEP as well as of the CEHAPE and set up a Task Force.

Outcomes: Official documents were presented to the first, second, third and fourth sessions of the Steering Committee of THE PEP

Cycling and walking

The project aimed at facilitating the exchange and dissemination of existing good practices of the different countries in the region to promote safe conditions for people to walk and cycle in urban areas, and to take stock of on-going work to improve the assessment of health effects related to levels of cycling and walking and of the related costs and benefits of promoting non-motorized transport means.

At its second session, the Steering Committee welcomed the expression of interest by several member States to contribute to the project by making available results of relevant studies, experiences and possibly financial resources. It also decided to establish a Task Force of experts, interested member States and organizations.

The first Workshop on Safe and Healthy Walking and Cycling in Urban Areas was held in Pruhonice-Prague (Czech Republic) on 24 - 25 September 2009.

The second Workshop on Safe and Healthy Walking and Cycling in Urban Areas was held in Batumi (Georgia) on 30 September-1 October 2010.

Related information: Methodological Guidance on the Economic Appraisal of Health Effects related to Walking and Cycling, WHO

Green economy and THE PEP

THE PEP continues promoting environmentally friendly, healthy and economically as well as socially viable transport systems for providing access to goods, jobs, services, education and leisure in the pan-European region.

At the Seventh Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" (21-23 September 2011, Astana) THE PEP launched a brochure "Green and healthy jobs in transport". The purpose of this Brochure is to stimulate a debate and a shared understanding on what a green and healthy job in transport is; to share existing experiences in Europe and other parts of the world with new policies and approaches for creating green and healthy jobs in transport; to analyze the potential of greening “old jobs” and creating “new green jobs” in transport and assess the qualitative and quantitative impact that such approaches have on the environment, health, transport and the economy.

THE PEP contributed to the debate on green economy through its cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its Green Economy Report, in particular the chapter on Transport. THE PEP also contributed to the WHO report "Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation - Transport sector" launched in Durban at UNFCCC COP 17.

The report is a part of the "Health in the Green Economy" series and describes how many climate change measures can be “win-wins” for people and the planet. THE PEP activities are illustrated as an example of international governance mechanism in the chapter 4.4.1 "National and regional governance as drivers", along with HEAT, which is featured under the section 5.4.4 "Integrative analytical tools".

Related information: THE PEP 2010 Symposium: Green and health-friendly investment and jobs in transport.