Urban Transformations and Health: Methods for TrUST—a Natural Experiment Evaluating the Impacts of a Mass Transit Cable Car in Bogotá, Colombia

  • Sarmiento O
  • Higuera-Mendieta D
  • Wilches-Mogollon M
  • et al.
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Background: Cable cars provide urban mobility benefits for vulnerable populations. However, no evaluation has assessed cable cars' impact from a health perspective. TransMiCable in Bogotá, Colombia, provides a unique opportunity to 1) assess the effects of its implementation on the environmental and social determinants of health (microenvironment pollution, transport accessibility, physical environment, employment, social capital, and leisure time), physical activity, and health outcomes (health-related quality of life, respiratory diseases, and homicides); and 2) use citizen science methods to identify, prioritize, and communicate the most salient negative and positive features impacting health and quality of life in TransMiCable’s area, as well as facilitate a consensus and advocacy-building change process among community members, policymakers, and academic researchers. Methods: TrUST (In Spanish: Transformaciones Urbanas y Salud: el caso de TransMiCable en Bogotá) is a quasi-experimental study using a mixed-methods approach. The intervention group includes adults from Ciudad Bolívar, the area of influence of TransMiCable. The control group includes adults from San Cristóbal, an area of future expansion for TransMiCable. A conceptual framework was developed through group-model building. Outcomes related to environmental and social determinants of health as well as health outcomes are assessed using questionnaires (health outcomes, physical activity, and perceptions), secondary data (crime and respiratory outcomes) use of portable devices (air pollution exposure and accelerometry), mobility tracking apps (for transport trajectories), and direct observation (parks). The Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool is being used to capture residents’ perceptions of their physical and social environments as part of the citizen science component of the investigation. Discussion: TrUST is innovative in its use of a mixed-methods, and interdisciplinary research approach, and in its systematic engagement of citizens and policymakers throughout the design and evaluation process. This study will help to understand better how to maximize health benefits and minimize unintended negative consequences of TransMiCable.




Sarmiento, O. L., Higuera-Mendieta, D., Wilches-Mogollon, M. A., Guzman, L. A., Rodríguez, D. A., Morales, R., … Diez Roux, A. V. (2020). Urban Transformations and Health: Methods for TrUST—a Natural Experiment Evaluating the Impacts of a Mass Transit Cable Car in Bogotá, Colombia. Frontiers in Public Health, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00064

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