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Issue #1| July 2015

Connecting transport and health for more liveable cities 

Introducing the PASTA project

Europeans move too much without moving enough these days. Many rely on cars even for the shortest of trips. Two thirds of the adult population in the European Union do not reach recommended levels of activity (30 mins/day on most week days).

This comes at a great cost to our health and the public purse, with physical inactivity one of the leading risk factors for ill-health contributing to one million deaths per year in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. This is where the PASTA project comes in.

PASTA stands for Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transport Approaches, and aims to connect transport and health by promoting active mobility (like walking and cycling) in cities as an innovative way of integrating physical activity into our daily travel routine. 

To achieve this, PASTA is identifying innovative approaches from cities across Europe, collecting data on travel patterns linked to health, and will provide you with an updated version of the WHO’s tool developed to help urban planners, transport and health practitioners make the case for new investment in active mobility.

Today we are pleased to send you the first edition of the PASTA project newsletter. The project, which has received funding from the European Commission, has just completed its first year and we are looking forward to staying in touch over the next three years to share some of our latest updates!

Best wishes,

Your PASTA team


 PASTA longitudinal survey update 

 Workshops and interviews with local authorities

 Call for good practices to promote walking & cycling

 Meet the PASTA team

 Upcoming events


 PASTA longitudinal survey update

We're almost halfway there!

This morning the PASTA team welcomed the 6000th participant in our two-year study on travel behaviour, physical activity and health. Thanks to the motivation and commitment of participants we have 15000 completed surveys in just 6 months, but more are needed!

The aim of the study is to understand the barriers and opportunities people in European cities face when walking, cycling and/or taking public transport; and what this might mean for safety and health.

Participants are asked to answer a simple survey in the first instance, then a shorter follow up survey at regular intervals, so we can build up a picture of their day to day activities.

Our target is to recruit a total of 14000 people - we are almost halfway there, which is great, but we are still looking for participants in Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Örebro, Rome, Vienna, Zürich! So, if you, or someone you know, would be interested in taking part, please sign up or send them this link: survey.pastaproject.eu

Watch Luc, the survey lead from the research institute VITO, explaining why we are carrying out this survey and how it feeds into the project as a whole in our 2 minute video: www.pastaproject.eu/city-survey

 Workshops and interviews with local authorities

Finding out how we can work better together

To look more closely at the link between promoting active mobility (like walking and cycling) and health in the urban environment we talked to representatives from our seven case study cities: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Örebro, Rome, Vienna, Zürich.

Practitioners in charge of health, urban planning and transport, were invited in each city to attend a PASTA workshop to share their experiences through peer-to-peer discussions. Face-to-face interviews provided further insights into challenges and examples of cooperation across city departments in transport and health.

This first-hand experience from cities, exploring the extent to which health and transport crossover, will be shared in short factsheets to be made available on our website shortly.

Watch Carsten, from ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability take you through how the interviews developed and run, by visiting: www.pastaproject.eu/about-pasta/city-interviews

 Call for good practices to promote walking & cycling

Become a Friend of the PASTA project

Do you want to share your experience with other European towns and cities in promoting active travel and healthy lifestyles? Then become part of a community bringing together transport planning and health.

Project partner, Florinda Boschetti from Polis, who is coordinating the good practice collection said:  

“We are interested to find out from cities which measures promoting active mobility have worked well for them. These could range from concrete examples where existing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists has been upgraded, to new services or promotional campaigns and incentives designed to encourage people to walk and cycle more.

 “We are also looking at examples of successful institutional cooperation among diverse sectors and city departments in charge of health, urban planning and transport to understand how and in what way we can work better together.”   

We are collecting good practice examples through a questionnaire in Word format that you can download from the PASTA website. These will be compiled into our 2017 handbook. 

To share your examples of good practices just follow the link: www.pastaproject.eu/friends
We look forward to receiving your contributions!
Deadline for submitting your good practice examples is 30 September 2015.

 Meet the PASTA team

The faces behind the scenes of the PASTA project

The PASTA team is made up of experts from 14 organisations who are leaders in the field of health, physical activity, transport modelling, safety, air quality, networking and communication.

For more information, including other projects we have worked on, please visit: www.pastaproject.eu/about-pasta/pasta-partners

The PASTA project is fortunate to have the advice and expertise of four distinguished academics and practitioners:

  • Professor, Dr-Ing. Gerd-Axel Ahrens, Technical University Dresden
  • Dr Adrian Davis, Bristol City Council
  • Dr Katrin Dziekan, Federal Environment Agency 
  • Professor Mike Jerrett, University of California

 Upcoming events

Featured PASTA event:
Workshop on 'Building the Liveable and Healthy City'

Maximising the health benefits of active mobility (AM) through planning and transport policies.

 The workshops will look at:

  • Successful city-based good practice examples;
  • Tools for practitioners to build liveable and healthy cities;
  • Free training on the updated WHO's Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT).

The workshop will take place on 18 November 2015, from 9:00 to 15:00, in Brussels.

The event is open to: local, regional and national authorities, researchers, urban and transport planning practitioners, advocacy groups and civil society organisations.

To register, please visit: www.pastaproject.eu/news-items/workshop-2015

External events where you can find out more about PASTA

The PASTA team will be presenting the project at the following events:

19 - 23 July 2015
14th International Conf. on Travel Behaviour Research
Windsor, United Kingdom

7 - 9 October 2015
11th HEPA Europe Conference
Istanbul, Turkey

20 - 23 October 2015
Vienna, Austria

Announcement: UNEP/WHO collecting data on jobs in cycling

WHO/Europe, UNECE and UNEP are collaborating in a project under the Transport Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) to highlight the job creation potential of cycling. All cities are invited to submit any information they have on this topic via the questionnaire. The publication resulting from this project will be presented at the 8th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi (Georgia) in June 2016.
Click here to download the forms.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 602624-2. The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of the PASTA project consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

The PASTA newsletter is produced by the European Secretariat of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.
Copyright 2015 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany. All rights reserved.

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