The European Commission has estimated that around 80% of the European Unionís population lives in cities and towns. Urban areas are therefore the places where environmental problems most affect the quality of life of Europeís citizens.
EPHA Environement Network has stated that action on transport, environment and health in urban areas is essential considering the magnitude of the costs related directly to transport-related health effects. The WHO state that these costs reveal:
that injuries caused by road traffic accidents - 40,000 deaths and 1.7million injuries in the EU every year,
the health effects of noise and air pollution - about 65% of the popluation of the EU are exposed to unacceptably high sound levels,
reduced opportunities for safe physical activities such as walking and cycling - up to half of all EU road trips are 5km or less,
psychological and social effects.