Transportation and health geographies

Authored by: Michael J. Widener

Routledge Handbook of Health Geography

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138098046
eBook ISBN: 9781315104584
Adobe ISBN:


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Transportation, broadly conceptualized as the movement of people across space, is connected to personal and population health in complex ways. It directly and indirectly influences health outcomes both positively and negatively, simultaneously enabling pathways to improved well-being (e.g., increasing access to health services or inducing physical activity) and producing exposures that result in higher rates of morbidity and mortality (e.g., the production of pollutants or fatal car crashes) (Widener and Hatzopoulou, 2016). Given the inherently spatial nature of transportation infrastructure, networks and behaviors, geographers have played an important role in establishing and expanding the study of transportation and health. Their contributions range from research on the effects of automobility and active transportation on health, international air travel and disease spread, and inequities in access to health care via public transit networks, in diverse regions across the Global North and Global South.

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