The proportions of walking and cycling as modes of travel in the City of Joensuu are clearly above the national average. Promotion of walking and cycling is a goal-oriented effort, which is also included in the City’s strategy and growth agreement.
Based on the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) developed by the WHO, the City has estimated that it would achieve annual benefits worth EUR 4 million, should the proportion of cycling increase by 20%. By 2030, the total benefits would amount to about EUR 46 million. The annual savings associated with walking, in turn, would amount to EUR 6 million, totalling EUR 75 million by 2030.
The HEAT tool can be used to assess the economic impacts of growth in walking and cycling mileages by way of total mortality. In addition to Joensuu, the tool has also been used in Finland to estimate the benefits of cycling in Helsinki, Espoo, Kokkola, Tampere and Kuopio, among other cities.
Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT)