Stockholm’s traffic planners get to know HEAT

During the last week of January and the first two weeks of February the Swedish Cycling Advocacy Association Cykelfrämjandet conducted a series of workshops for the traffic planners of the Stockholm region’s 26 municipalities on the use of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for calculating and highlighting the socio-economic benefits of cycling and walking.

The workshops were hosted by Stockholm’s regional Bicycle Office, whose purpose is to make it easier for county road operators to expand the regional cycle path network. The four workshops were attended by Stockholm’s municipal traffic planners as well as representatives from the regional Bicycle Office and the Swedish Transport Administration. The presentation covered the health benefits of active mobility in general and cycling in particular, as well as the importance of measuring and following up on the socio-economic impacts of cycling of as a part of integrated urban planning.

The workshop presented three potential types of HEAT assessments for use in the traffic planners’ work:

  1. To answer questions about the present day situation, such as ”what is the economic value of the current level of cycling in the municipality?”
  2. To assess a certain scenario, such as ”what would the economic value of a 20% increase in cycling in the municipality by 2030 be?”
  3. To evaluate a before-and after case, such as ”what is the economic value of the increase in cycling from the past five years?”

The traffic planners have expressed an interest in continuing to explore the potential uses of HEAT assessments in future workshops, which Cykelfrämjandet will plan in collaboration with various stakeholders. We at Cykelfrämjandet also look forward to completing our own regional HEAT assessment on Stockholm as a part of our work towards more participatory and integrated urban planning for healthier communities in the Central Baltic region.

Project coordinator Emilia Sternberg