Frequent Communication Linked to Collaboration for Active Transportation

Faculty; Public Health; Research

Regular communication has been key to successful collaborations among organizations to create policies to promote active transportation, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Researchers surveyed metropolitan planning organizations and partners working to advance active transportation policies and built environment changes, such as bike paths in six cities: Sacramento, San Diego, Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis and Nashville.

They found that regular, frequent communication was associated with collaboration in all six cities. Resource sharing and perceived decisional authority was linked to collaboration in three cities.

“A ‘one size fits all’ approach for active transportation policy collaboration may not be appropriate,” wrote the study’s lead author, Marissa L. Zwald, a doctoral student at the Brown School; and senior author Ross Brownson, professor and director of the Prevention Research Council, also at the Brown School. “Communicating frequently, pooling resources and fostering decisional authority may help organizations working to support AT policies across diverse sectors achieve aligned public health and transportation goals.”

The study was posted online ahead of publication in the January 2019 edition of Preventive Medicine.