Anna Bornioli PhD

Healthy cities make healthy people
People walking under trees

Senior researcher Urban and Transport Economics

Email address
+31(0)10 408 2740
Woudenstein, T-Building, Room T19-37
Mandeville Building


Anna Bornioli PhD is a senior researcher specialised in healthy cities, urban walking, and mobility behaviours.

Healthy cities make healthy people

Anna works on the evaluation and design of interventions for walkable cities, car-free and low-traffic environments, 30km/h speed limits, incorporation of green and blue infrastructure in cities. Anna is now involved in a European project on equitable and sustainable tourism in European cities.

Anna is a Visiting Fellow at the University of the West of England and a member of the Netherlands Car-free Alliance.

Research interests

  • Evaluation of sustainable urban and transport interventions
  • Mobility behaviours and health effects
  • Mobility and health of young people
  • Road safety and 30km/h speed limits
  • Car-free environments
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Benefits of nature and green infrastructure
  • Values of cultural heritage

Methodological expertise

  • Experimental research
  • Longitudinal analysis of large datasets
  • Survey design
  • Qualitative research (interviews, focus groups, urban ethnography, participatory map sketching)


Anna teaches and supervises dissertation students at bachelor and master level. She teaches and supervises in the following courses:

  • BSc Economics and Business (Urban, Port, and Transport Economics).
  • MSc Economics and Business (Urban, Port, and Transport Economics).

Anna also regularly gives guest lectures in the UK around the topic of healthy cities and healthy urban and transport policies.

    Academic career

    Anna’s PhD thesis, completed in November 2017 at the Centre for Transport and Society (University of the West of England, Bristol – United Kingdom) explored the influence of urban environments on wellbeing outcomes from the pedestrian point of view.

    Anna has a BSc in Economics from the University of Cagliari, Italy, a Master’s in Cultural Economics from the University of Bologna, Italy, and spent one year at City University London (Department of Economics) as an Erasmus student.

    A selection of Anna Bornioli's recent projects.

    Description: SMARTDEST is a EU Horizon 2020 project about developing innovative solutions to the externalities that are produced by tourism-related mobilities in cities to inform the design of alternative policy options for more socially inclusive places in the age of mobilities.
    Client: EU-funded H2020 Research Project
    Status: Active project
    Duration: 2020-2023
    Partners: Universitat Rovira i Virgil (main partner)

    Description:  Payamos (Promotion of Physical Activity of the Youth through Active Mobility to School) is about promoting the physical activity of children of 9-12 years and adolescents of 14-18 years in seven European countries.
    Status: Active project
    Client: EU-funded Erasmus+ Research Project
    Duration: 2020-2022
    Partner: Technische Universität Berlin (main partner)

    Description: This project aims to get insights in the behavior of car drivers in the Netherlands making use parking transactions generated by Parkmobile customers. The outcome consists of maps, descriptive statistics and simple calculations that provide a comprehensive overview of the parking behavior in different Dutch cities.
    Status: Active project
    Duration: 2020 -2021
    Client: Parkmobile

    Description: research assessing the health benefits of different urban walking environments using physiological (EEG) and psychological measures, with the addition of virtual reality (VR)
    Status: Active project
    Duration: 2018-ongoing – 2021
    Client: Funded by the University of the West of England, Bristol

    Description: analysis of  wellbeing experiences of outdoor and indoor favourite urban and natural settings

    Status: completed
    Duration: 2019 - 2020
    Main partner: Enviwell Group (University of Tampere, Finland)

    Description: The project evaluated the effects of the 20mph (30km/h) speed limit in Bristol, looking at the changes in speed and road injuries. It was found that speed decreased with the introduction of the new limit, however average speed is still above 20mph. Road safety had some improvements with the lower speed limit.
    Status: completed
    Duration: 2019 – 2020
    Client: Bristol City Council
    Main partner: University of the West of England, Bristol

    Description: secondary data analysis of risk factors for poor mental health among adolescents related to body dissatisfaction, based on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
    Status: Completed project
    Duration: 2018
    Client: Funded by the University of the West of England, Bristol
    Partners: University of the West of England, Bristol (main partner)

    Description: Car-free or car-light environments are an important characteristic of urban vitality. This project will provide evidence on the wider impact of 30 km/h zones. First, the researchers will build a data infrastructure and evaluate the impact of previous changes in speed limits in Dutch cities. Second, in collaboration with Rotterdam municipality, they will assess how the introduction of 30km/h speed limits will influence the city’s vitality. In the research a holistic approach is used by combining outcomes on mobility, health, and environmental science and focusing on the differential impact on population subgroups.

    Client: funded by Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens

    Status: Active project

    Duration: 2022-2024

    Partners: Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus Medical Centre Amsterdam University Medical Centre

    A selection of Anna Bornioli's recent publications

    Bornioli, A., Vermeulen, S. J., van Haaren, J., Valente, R., & Mingardo, G. (2022). The Impacts of Tourism Stays on Residents’ Self-Reported Health: A Pan-European Analysis on the Role of Age and Urbanization Level. Sustainability, 14(3), 1157.

    Bornioli, A. (2022). The walking meeting: opportunities for better health and sustainability in post-COVID-19 cities. Cities & Health, 1-7.

    Bishop, H. & Bornioli, A. (2022). Effectiveness of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone in Reducing Air Pollution: A Pre-Post Comparison of NO2 and PM10 Levels. Journal of Environmental Health, 84(10).

    Mingardo, G., Vermeulen, S., & Bornioli, A. (2022). Parking pricing strategies and behaviour: Evidence from the Netherlands. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 157, 185-197.

    Birenboim, A., Anton Clavé, S., Ganzaroli, A., Bornioli, A., Vermeulen, S., Zuckerman Farkash, M., ... & Ivars Baidal, J. A. (2022). Touristification, smartization, and social sustainability in European regions. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-5.

    Subiza-Pérez, M., Pasanen, T., Ratcliffe, E., Lee, K., Bornioli, A., de Bloom, J., & Korpela, K. (2021). Exploring psychological restoration in favorite indoor and outdoor urban places using a top-down perspective. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 78, 101706.

    Bornioli, A., Lewis-Smith, H., Slater, A., & Bray, I. (2021). Body dissatisfaction predicts the onset of depression among adolescent females and males: a prospective studyJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health75(4), 343-348.

    Bornioli, A., Bray, I., Pilkington, P., & Parkin, J. (2020). Effects of city-wide 20mph (30km/hr) speed limits on road injuries in Bristol, UKInjury prevention26(1), pp.85-88.

    Vermeulen, S., Bornioli, A., Liedl, B., Alexander, L., Kazepov, Y., Mocca, E., … Brandajs, F. (2020). SMARTDEST DATASET WP2 V1 [Data set]. Zenodo.

    Bornioli, A., Russo, A.P., Vermeulen, S., Valente, R. (2020). The spatial articulation and local effects of tourism and associated mobilities. Technical report.

    Bornioli, A., Evans, D. and Cotter, C. (2020). Evaluation of the UK Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework (PHSKF): implications for international competency frameworks. BMC public health20(1), pp.1-8.

    Bornioli, A., Parkhurst, G., & Morgan, P. (2019). Affective experiences of built environments and the promotion of urban walkingTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice123, 200.

    Bornioli, A., Lewis-Smith, H., Smith, A., Slater, A. and Bray, I. (2019). Adolescent body dissatisfaction and disordered eating: Predictors of later risky health behaviours.  Social Science & Medicine238, p.112458.

    Bornioli, A., Bray, I., Pilkington, P., & Bird, E. (2018). The effectiveness of a 20 mph speed limit intervention on vehicle speeds in Bristol, UK: A non-randomised stepped wedge designJournal of Transport and Health11, 47-55. 

    Bornioli, A., Parkhurst, G., & Morgan, P. (2018). The psychological wellbeing benefits of place engagement during walking in urban environments: A qualitative photo-elicitation studyHealth and Place53, 228-236. 

    Bornioli, A., Parkhurst, G., & Morgan, P. (2018). Psychological wellbeing benefits of simulated exposure to five urban settings: An experimental study from the pedestrian’s perspectiveJournal of Transport and Health9, 105-116. 

    Bornioli, A., & Subiza-Pérez, M. (2022). Restorative urban environments for healthy cities: A theoretical model for the study of restorative experiences in urban built settings. Landscape Research, 1-12.

    Reece, R., Bornioli, A., Bray, I., Newbutt, N., Satenstein, D., & Alford, C. (2022). Exposure to green, blue and historic environments and mental well-being: A comparison between virtual reality head-mounted display and flat screen exposure. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(15), 9457.

    Reece, R., Bornioli, A., Bray, & Alford, C. (2022). Exposure to Green and Historic Urban Environments and Mental Well-Being: Results from EEG and Psychometric Outcome Measures. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19, 13052.

    Bornioli, A., Vermeulen, S., Van Haaren, J., & Mingardo, G. (2021, June). Does tourism improve living conditions of urban residents? A pan-European analysis with EU-SILC data. Paper presented at ATLAS SIG Urban Tourism ONLINE meeting: New Directions for Urban Tourism Post-COVID, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    Bornioli, A. & Subiza Perez, M. (2019, September). Building the case for urban restoration: a step forward along an overlooked line of inquiry. Paper presented at the International Conference on Environmental Psychology 2019, Plymouth, UK.

    Bornioli, A., Bray, I., Pilkington, P., & Bird, E. (2019, May). The 20mph speed limit policy in Bristol: Analysis of speed and collisions variations. Paper presented at The 15th World Conference on Transport Research, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India.

    Bornioli, A. (2018, November). Accessible walking hubs for psychological wellbeing. Paper presented at Accessible Hubs – International workshop on Universal Design in urban mobility systems. Technische Universität Darmstadt., Darmstadt, Germany. 

    Bornioli, A., Parkhurst, G., & Morgan, P. (2018, January). Healthy walking: The role of architecture. Paper presented at AMPS 2018 Health: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live, Bristol, England. 

    Bornioli, A. The influence of city centre environments on the affective walking experience. (Thesis). University of the West of England. 

    September 2022: “Walking, wellbeing in urban environments”, Israeli Science Foundation workshop “Urban innovation through walkability and spatial cognition”, Tel Aviv (Israel).

    May 2022: mini-college “Are healthy cities also accessible”, Studio Erasmus, Rotterdam (Netherlands). Available at:

    November 2018: “Accessible walking hubs for psychological wellbeing”, 1st Accessible Hubs International Workshop, Darmstadt (Germany);

    Bornioli, A. (2022). Results from the pan-EU analysis: the key challenges for social exclusion in different regional types. in “Tourism as a driver of social exclusion: old and new challenges for the urban agenda”. In  #EURegionsWeekUniversity, Brussels (Belgium), 10-14 October 2022.

    Bornioli, A., Birenboim, A., Ben-Nun Bloom, P. (2022). Cultural Landscapes, Wellbeing and Psychological Restoration. In 27th International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS) Conference, Lisboa (Portugal) 4-8 July 2022.

    Bornioli, A., Birenboim, A., Ben-Nun Bloom, P. (2022). The Effect of Cultural Landscapes on Mobility and Wellbeing. In International Medical Geography Symposium, Edinburgh (UK), 19-24 June 2022.

    Ratcliffe, E., Subiza-Pérez, M., Bornioli, A., Pasanen, T., Lee, K., Weber, C., ... & Korpela, K. (2022, July). Favourite places in Western cities: why are they valued, and what restorative benefits do people gain from them?. In 27th International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS) Conference, Lisboa, Portugal, 4-8 July 2022.


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