MetroPlan Orlando: The Healthy Mobility Model at Work

Use of VHB’s Healthy Mobility Model Aims to Enhance Public Health and the Built Environment

February 12, 2021

Children ride bikes in city park

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, VHB was working to develop a one-of-a-kind Healthy Mobility Model (HMM) in response to rising public health concerns facing the country. VHB’s planners, engineers, and transportation professionals have taken a vested interest in how active transportation planning can help improve quality of life and promote better health.

The Healthy Mobility Model quantitatively draws a connection between transportation, the built environment, community design, and public health. Focusing on six health indicators: asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, the HMM leverages data and analytics to establish baseline health conditions, assess health risks and allow VHB to recommend potential healthy community design improvements to clients.

MetroPlan Orlando (MPO) leads transportation planning efforts in several counties in central Florida, working with local and state officials, the community, and industry leaders to shape a transportation system that offers a wide range of options. MPO has used and seen great success with the HMM as they take a holistic approach to their planning and design. MPO’s community health goals focus on safety, access to food and medical care, physical activity, and environmental quality—all of which can be analyzed with the use of the HMM.

One example where the HMM has significant impact is the MetroPlan Orlando Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the organization’s long-range transportation plan and associated regional Complete Streets policies. This is an effort to enhance public health as well as the built environment by creating livable communities that allow for safe shared transportation for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, public transit and more. When it comes to urban design and transportation planning, MetroPlan Orlando is assessing projects using the health indicators provided by the HMM and developing solutions to improve public health, not only in Orlando but across Central Florida.

To learn more about VHB’s Healthy Mobility Model, please connect with Curt Ostrodka.