U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced this week that The Ohio State University has been named one of 18 institutions across the country to lead research on transportation challenges outlined in the Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic 2045 report.
As a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center, Ohio State is recognized as a forward-thinking and influential institution capable of driving solutions to these challenges by convening decision-makers in the Great Lakes megaregion and coordinating related research, curriculum, outreach and other activities. Due to its location in the center of the country, the Great Lakes megaregion sits at the heart of the U.S. transportation network.
Contrary to popular belief, the entire world is not mapped. And, the parts of the world that are not mapped – Global South, informal settlements, refugee camps – are often the most vulnerable to natural and human-made disasters.
MapGive is a program from the US Department of State to seek volunteers to help identify and map features (road, buildings, houses) available from imagery for inclusion in Open Streets Map. These open source maps can be invaluable in supporting humanitarian and development projects in regions where good geographic information is a rarity.
Here is an example of a digital humanitarian using MapGive to organize a mapathon to support the Ebola response efforts. [Mapping for a Cause: MapGive Ebola Outbreak Mapathon]
We have another paper published from the Moving Across Places Study (MAPS) of physical activity levels before and after light rail construction and street rehabilitation in a low-income and ethnically mixed neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. This paper appears in Preventive Medicine: “Physical activity mediates the relationship between perceived crime safety and obesity.”
Our study suggests that residents’ low perceived safety is related to more obesity and higher BMI; lower physical activity among residents explained part of this relationship. Policy implication: it is crucial to address perceived crime safety as part of broader efforts to enhance active living. Not a shocking conclusion, but this is the type of basic social needs that can be neglected as we rush to build bike paths, plant trees and install street furniture.