The Essential Evidence series started in 2008 in order to provide a de-jargonised service to transport planning colleagues in Bristol City Council at the time when the city had just commenced ‘Cycling City’ status. The key point of these 1 page briefings is to bring to officers (and others interested) data and evidence (data is not evidence per se) about the health impacts of aspects of transport planning which will otherwise probably remain ‘locked away’ in the ivory towers of academia in seemingly arcane journals that transport planners has very likely never heard of let alone accessed (and often also behind a paywall). Having chosen a’ career path’ in both public health and transport planning it seemed self-evident to me that there was a need to provide some of this evidence often from non-transport disciplines to transport planners in order to help better inform transport planning decision making.
In academia – where we generate a codified title for most things – this type of work has been increasingly described as translational research. It’s just starting to make a mark outside of the bio-medical and pharmacological ghetto in which it first developed not least to help drug companies improve client understanding of their products (ie the medics). But I really want to encourage others with the translational skills and the overview of a broad literature to do some of this translational work – I know who some of you are!
This service – currently 172 issues (as of 3rd September 2018) – is available at: