Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans


A Primer for California's Public Health Community on Regional Transportation Plans and Sustainable Communities Strategies


Written by TransForm in Collaboration with the California Department of Public Health

Year Published: 


Read the full report

Increasingly, health experts are making the strong connection between the built environment – our streets, transit systems, houses, parks, and towns – and the increase in obesity, diabetes, asthma, and traffic fatalities. 

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), a long-term blueprint of a region’s transportation system,
provides a particularly important opportunity for health promotion. with the passage of SB 375 these plans have become intensively focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  How can we also make sure they focus on producing positive health outcomes and creating access to opportunities for disadvantaged communities? These plans don’t just sit on a shelf; they are tied to billions of dollars in state and federal transportation funds.

What's in the Guide

The guide includes:

  • Direct and indirect impacts of transportation on health
  • How RTPs are created, and by whom
  • The role of SB 375 and Sustainable Communities Strategies in winning health improvements
  • Specific guidelines for RTPs on everything from bicycle/pedestrian improvements to promoting access for and participation by vulnerable communities
  • Challenges and roadblocks
  • Case studies of successful plans, projects and programs
Regional Transportation Plans are an incredible opportunity to shape transportation and the built environment. How can we make sure the billions of dollars of transportation funding in these plans create positive health outcomes? This guide is intended for public health professionals as well as local government officials, transportation planners and others who want to engage in developing plans that promote better health and increasing access to opportunities for disadvantaged communities.