What data do I need?

There are two main types of assessment:

  • Data from a single point in time. This option is used when assessing the status quo, such as valuing current levels of walking and cycling in a city.
  • Before and after data. This option is used when assessing the impact of an actual intervention or hypothetical scenarios. Before and after data are required, and the tool values the difference in levels of walking and cycling between pre- and post-measures.

Before you begin, check that you have the following data available:

  • An estimate of how many people are walking or cycling. This might come from route user surveys, population surveys, roadside counts, or could be estimates, for example from scenario analyses. For more information on use of surveys click here
  • An estimate of the average duration spent walking or cycling in the study population, which can again come from surveys or from estimates. This can be entered in a number of ways:
    • Duration (average time walked per person, e.g. 30 minutes walked on average per day); this is the most direct data entry route;
    • Distance (average distance walked per person, e.g. 10 km cycled on average per week);
    • Trips (average per person or total observed across a population, eg 25 bike trips per year); or
    • for walking also as steps (average number of steps taken per person, e.g. 9,000 steps per day)

A number of default values are provided in the HEAT; you can use these or provide your own values if you think they may more accurately reflect your situation, for the following variables:

  • mortality rate (you can use the European average as default, or enter your local crude mortality rate, for more information see here)
  • value of a statistical life (you can use a European average value, or enter your local value, for more information see here)
  • time period over which you wish average benefits to be calculated
  • a discount rate, if so wished (you can use the default value supplied or enter your own rate)

In addition, you can provide details of the cost of promoting cycling or walking, if you wish the HEAT to calculate a benefit-cost ratio. Please make sure that the costs include all relevant investments. For example, to assess the benefit-cost ratio of a promotion campaign for cycling, also think about costs for the bicycle infrastructure used by the target audience, which may be borne by the local administration.

Along the way, you may also need to make some assumptions where you don’t have any data available, e.g. on the supposed impact of an intervention on new levels of walking and cycling. You will be provided with input on such assumptions, and wherever possible with default values (and their sources) as well as with explanations and further information on the different steps of the tool.