A Master of Science thesis in Civil Engineering by Mohamed Tarish AlQahtani entitled, “An Investigation of Links Between Transport Choices and Health: A Case Study in the UAE”, submitted in April 2019. Thesis advisor is Dr. Ghassan Abu-Lebdeh. Soft and hard copy available.
This research examines the relationship between transport/travel choices-- as default decisions that are decidedly influenced by the built environment-- and public health in the UAE. The objective of the research is two-fold: 1) evaluate the links between travel/transport choices and public health in working adults and college-age residents of the UAE, and 2) develop meaningful correlations between specific public health markers and transport choices and socio-economic characteristics. A self-administered survey was used to collect information on lifestyle with an emphasis on travel/transport choices and on specific health outcomes as Non-contagious illnesses (also known as modernity illnesses). 1009 persons participated in the survey. Among the more pronounced observations is the high proportion of commuters exposed to traffic congestion (76%), and those reporting stress (72%). Back-propagation neural network models were developed to help predict health outcomes from travel/transport choices and socio-economic characteristics. Over thirty models usable were developed which can be integrated into a transport planning/policy framework thus enabling direct inclusion of public health outcomes in the transportation planning and/or decision-making process. Predictive quality and strength of the models were assessed using the coefficient of determination, R2, distribution of error (residuals vs. independent variables), and the mean squared error (MSE).