Environmental Health Impacts of Mobility and Transport in Hai Phong, Vietnam

Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, Published online 10 February 2010

Stijn Dhondt, Quynh Le Xuan, Hieu Vu Van, and Luc Hens

“Traffic is an essential part of modern society and mobility is part of its socio-economic setting. However, signs of counter productivity arise as the current mobility patterns substantially affect our health, including the consequences from traffic accidents, air pollution—which causes even more victims than traffic accidents—and traffic-noise. The use of private motorised vehicles also contributes to sedentarism, climate change and psychological effects. This paper reviews these mobility related health effects and applies them to the situation in Hai Phong, a Vietnamese port-city in fast development and facing growing mobility patterns. In his Master Plan the city developed a view on its development together with the transportation infrastructure up to 2020. Together with the fast changing mobility patterns, such as a modal change from bicycles to motorcycles and cars, this lead to an increase in motorized vehicles and non-negligible environmental health risks. Applying the methodology of a Health Impact Assessment as used in previous studies the current health burden is estimated, focussing on particulate matter (PM) and noise. For PM10 1287 deaths per year were calculated for the current situation, where the estimated number of deaths by 2020 doubled up to 2741. Hospital admissions due to PM10 raised from 44,954 now to 51,467 in 2020 and for PM2.5 the restricted-activity days were calculated, accounting for 852,352 per year. For noise only calculations for the current state (2007) were performed. The total estimated DALYs due to noise was 4758.”