New way to measure the effect of investments in walking and cycling

Sustainable transport

A European research group has developed a method for scientifically evaluating the policy preconditions for walking and cycling measures - with a focus on the benefits of physical activity. The method has since been evaluated with the help of data from a large research project and found that the method works consistently.

cykel- och gångtrafik

There is a lot of evidence that walking and cycling are positive for both health and the environment.  Many municipalities and authorities therefore work to promote this type of travel. Until now, however, there has been a lack of a scientific scoring system for assessing cities’ work to promote walking and cycling. Making this method an exciting solution for these shortcomings.

Calculation-based points system

By analysing data collected in seven European cities, the researchers behind the project PASTA have developed and evaluated a calculation-based points system to measure municipalities’ and authorities’ work in promoting walking and cycling. They have studied cycling culture / walking culture, social acceptance, how road safety is perceived, how transport is promoted, politics and urban planning.

The evaluation shows that the measurement method works well and is consistent. The method can be used as a transparent and evidence-based way of comparing cities’ work to promote active transport.

One lesson from the project is that it is appropriate to distinguish between the promotion of walking and cycling trips. Some of the cities have invested significantly more in promoting walking and public transport and have therefore gained higher values ​​for these modes of transport. Other cities have invested more in bicycles, which has led to higher values ​​for bicycles.

European research project on active mobility

The PASTA project (Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transport Approaches) is a European research project that focuses on investigating whether people’s physical activity increases when the conditions for walking and cycling improve. It is a large project with a total of 14,000 participants in seven European cities including Örebro, Antwerp, Barcelona, ​​London, Vienna, Rome, and Zurich. Fourteen actors are involved, including the WHO, the University of Oxford, and the University of Zurich. Trivector Traffic, which is responsible for the implementation of the Swedish sub-study, is the only private actor and has received co-financing from the Swedish Transport Administration.

More information

Read the report or contact Lena Smidfelt Rosqvist who works directly with the PASTA project.

Read more about bicycle traffic and pedestrian traffic, Surveys, analyses and mapping or Behaviours and dialogue.