Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Background: In an effort to increase physical activity, communities are recognizing the importance of policy and environmental changes to facilitate active transportation. However, evidence on the policy partnerships and processes to achieve such policy and environmental changes, particularly in non-health sectors, is lacking.

Methods: An online social network survey was administered in Fall 2015 to organizations engaged in active transportation policies in six cities across the United States. In addition to individual and organizational characteristics, relationships between organizations were assessed, including: level of collaboration around active transportation policies, frequency of contact, resource sharing to support active transportation, and perceived decisional power of partnering organizations. Descriptive and inferential network analyses were conducted.

Results: An average of 25 individuals at 22 organizations in each city participated in the online survey, with a total of 149 respondents. Organization types represented in the full sample included: advocacy/nonprofit, local government, local transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, planning/engineering firms, public health, state and federal transportation organizations, and academic institutions. In all six cities, the likelihood of active transportation policy collaboration increased when organizations communicated at least quarterly. In half of the cities, the probability of active transportation policy collaboration increased when resources were exchanged between two agencies. In half of the cities, active transportation policy collaboration was more likely to occur when organizations were perceived as having decisional authority around active transportation policies.

Conclusion: Information on the policy partnerships that exist around active transportation policies can help researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates more effectively work together across diverse sectors to support active transportation.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Ross C. Brownson

Committee Members

Amy A. Eyler, Debra Haire-Joshu, Susan L. Handy, Jenine K. Harris,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7FJ2F38