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Active transportation as a public health intervention in Allegheny County

Talbert, Abigail (2018) Active transportation as a public health intervention in Allegheny County. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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A review of the literature indicates that carefully planned active transportation initiatives can increase physical activity, reduce motor vehicle fatalities, decrease air pollution, and improve mental health. This research aims to review the public health significance of active transportation, reveal best practices regarding active transportation initiatives, and provide recommendations for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to operationalize active transportation as a public health intervention. I conducted a descriptive, multi-case study analysis of active transportation initiatives across the nation. I selected four communities with successful active transportation initiatives for which literature is available and analyzed efforts that were employed using the Social Ecological Model. This framework promotes integrated multi-level interventions by organization of efforts at individual, relational, community, and societal levels. Then, I organized Allegheny County’s current initiatives using the same framework and compared it to the other communities. Best practices among the four communities included proactively defining goals, the target population, and the plan of action (societal level); improving infrastructure to support active transportation (community level); forming partnerships with defined leadership structure (relational level); and promoting awareness and engagement of the initiative (individual level). Several strengths of Allegheny County’s current active transportation efforts were identified (including reforming policy, developing a subcommittee, and securing funding), but a number of gaps in the initiative exist. Allegheny County has not yet established goals, a target population, or an overarching plan for an active transportation initiative. Further infrastructure improvement is also required to provide a safe environment for active transportation and the public must be engaged through promotional activities. Allegheny County has made promising strides towards operationalizing the health benefits of active transportation, however, this study recommends many strategies to maximize benefits.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Talbert, Abigailalt108@pitt.edualt108
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDocumet, Patriciapdocumet@pitt.edupdocumetUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberKammerer, Candacecmk3@pitt.educmk3UNSPECIFIED
Date: 14 August 2018
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 70
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 20:33
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 20:33


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