Reducing the impact of transport infrastructure on the health and wellbeing of people in cities

Associate Professor Kim Dirks, Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

With urban intensification comes the need for more sustainable transport. In Auckland, more people will need to travel by public transport, walking and cycling. While active modes raise exercise levels, how and where people travel also impacts on their exposure toair pollution. We’re looking at how transport infrastructure can be designed to minimise this exposure. Separate cycle ways are highly effective, but expensive. Modifications such as barriers separating them from motorways can bring further benefits at little cost, as can individual behaviour such as the side of the road you walk on. Ultimately, this research is about making active commuting more appealing, helping to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. It involves collaboration with scientists, engineers, urban designers and planners. Close associations are with Associate Professor Jennifer Salmond from the School of Environment and academics around the world, as well as Auckland Council.