Friday, January 28, 2011

Public Health and Safety

American Public Health Association (APHA)
APHA studies the broad health impacts that result from different transportation choices. Its resources include an issue brief, the Hidden Costs of Transportation, about the health costs of an auto-dependent transportation system.

Of practical benefit to communities that are trying to sell transit, shared rides, and zero-emission mode (walking and biking) initiatives is APHA's fact sheet about Health Impact Assessments. The Health Impact Project has more information about how HIAs are used to inform decision making for different types of public works projects, including transit, transportation and planning.

[Multi-modal street scene in Portland, Ore.]

National Association of Regional Councils (NARC)
NARC joins with the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) in urging Congress to support public safety through legislation (S. 28) that will assist in the realization of a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network.

Emergency Mobility

Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
The FEMA Administrator blogs about using social media to fit people and not the agency. Some of the comments following the post are amazing, particularly the one about a man who is extremely disabled who used facebook to indirectly reach the fire department when his toaster threatened major disaster.

A blog writer talks about the importance to emergency recovery of walkable streets and services available locally, such as groceries. Ken Benfield quotes a discussion about the Brisbane, Australia flooding, comparing Brisbane's street network to Beirut's:
There is what you might call 'network redundancy' i.e. every few streets has a grocers, bakers, coffee shop, ironmongers, tailors etc. etc. This, as opposed to the centralised and consolidated model of western cities, most obviously visible in the out-of-town mall accessed by car, with all the apparent economies of scale that entails. Yet the former is actually more resilient, for sure. ... It would have been better to have been in a place with a walkscore of something approaching 100 (see But there is nothing around us, barely pavements, and now the connecting infrastructure of roads is so easily compromised.