Health impact assessment of transport policies in Rotterdam: decrease of total traffic and increase of electric car use

Myriam Tobollik, Menno Keuken, Clive Sabel, Hilary Cowie, Jouni Tuomisto, Denis Sarigiannis, Nino Künzli, Laura Perez, Pierpaolo Mudu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Green house gas (GHG) mitigation policies can be evaluated by showing their co-benefits to health. Method: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was used to quantify co-benefits of GHG mitigation policies in Rotterdam. The effects of two separate interventions (10% reduction of private vehicle kilometers and a share of 50% electric-powered private vehicle kilometers) on particulate matter (PM2.5), elemental carbon (EC) and noise (engine noise and tyre noise) were assessed using Years of Life Lost (YLL) and Years Lived with Disability (YLD). The baseline was 2010 and the end of the assessment 2020. Results: The intervention aimed at reducing traffic is associated with a decreased exposure to noise resulting in a reduction of 21 (confidence interval (CI): 11-129) YLDs due to annoyance and 35 (CI: 20-51) YLDs due to sleep disturbance for the population per year. The effects of 50% electric-powered car use are slightly higher with a reduction of 26 (CI: 13-116) and 41 (CI: 24-60) YLDs, respectively. The two interventions have marginal effects on air pollution, because already implemented traffic policies will reduce PM2.5 and EC by around 40% and 60% respectively, from 2010 to 2020. Discussion: The evaluation of planned interventions, related to climate change policies, targeting only the transport sector can result in small co-benefits for health, if the analysis is limited to air pollution and noise. This urges to expand the analysis by including other impacts, e.g. physical activity and well-being, as a necessary step to better understanding consequences of interventions and carefully orienting resources useful to build knowledge to improve public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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