Health impacts of electric micromobility transitions in Barcelona: A scenario analysis

Mobility in cities is changing with the appearance of electric micro-mobilities (EMMs), i.e. e-bikes, e-scooters, e-mopeds. We conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of EMM use on the health of Barcelona adults. Assuming a 5% (S1) and 10% (S2) increase in EMM use, we modelled changes in physical activity (PA), personal air pollution exposure and the risk of fatal traffic accidents. We estimated attributable mortality and morbidity burdens. Health impacts depended on the specific mode shift studied. For S1 and S2, respectively, shifting from cars and motorcycles to EMMs translated into 13 (95% CI: 10;16) (0.13%) and 26 (95% CI: 20;32) (0.25%) preventable deaths annually. Shifting from walking and cycling to EMMs, translated into 17 (95% CI: 20;15) (0.16%) and 35 (95% CI: 41;29) (0.34%) additional deaths annually. Shifting from public transport to e-bikes and e-scooters resulted in 23 (95% CI: 34;12) (0.22%) and 46 (95% CI: 67;24) (0.44%), and 4 (95% CI: 5;3) (0.04%) and 8 (95% CI: 10;5) (0.08%) preventable deaths, respectively, while shifting to e-mopeds resulted in 7 (95% CI: 5;9) (0.07%) and 14 (95% CI: 9;18) (0.14%) additional deaths annually. The gain/loss of PA when shifting from passive/active transport modes to EMMs, contributed strongly to the overall health impact and outweighed air pollution and traffic accident impacts. Trends for morbidity outcomes were similar. If mode shifts happen from passive transport modes, EMMs can provide health (and environmental) benefits.

» Author: Inés López-Dóriga, Guillem Vich, Sarah Koch, Sasha Khomenko, Oriol Marquet, Oriol Roig-Costa, Carolyn Daher, Davide Rasella, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Natalie Mueller

» Publication Date: 01/09/2022

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 768737


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