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Am J Health Promot. 2015 Sep-Oct;30(1):42-9. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.131021-QUAN-536. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Municipal Officials' Participation in Built Environment Policy Development in the United States.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study examined municipal officials' participation in built environment policy initiatives focused on land use design, transportation, and parks and recreation.

DESIGN:

Web-based cross-sectional survey.

SETTING:

Eighty-three municipalities with 50,000 or more residents in eight states.

SUBJECTS:

Four hundred fifty-three elected and appointed municipal officials.

MEASURES:

Outcomes included self-reported participation in land use design, transportation, and parks and recreation policy to increase physical activity. Independent variables included respondent position; perceptions of importance, barriers, and beliefs regarding physical activity and community design and layout; and physical activity partnership participation.

ANALYSIS:

Multivariable logistic regression models.

RESULTS:

Compared to other positions, public health officials had lower participation in land use design (78.3% vs. 29.0%), transportation (78.1% vs. 42.1%), and parks and recreation (67.1% vs. 26.3%) policy. Perceived limited staff was negatively associated with participation in each policy initiative. Perceptions of the extent to which physical activity was considered in community design and physical activity partnership participation were positively associated with participation in each. Perceived lack of collaboration was associated with less land use design and transportation policy participation, and awareness that community design affects physical activity was associated with more participation. Perceived lack of political will was associated with less parks and recreation policy participation.

CONCLUSION:

Public health officials are underrepresented in built environment policy initiatives. Improving collaborations may improve municipal officials' policy participation.

KEYWORDS:

Built Environment; Health focus: fitness/physical activity; Manuscript format: research; Municipal Government; Outcome measure: behavioral; Physical Activity; Prevention Research; Research purpose: modeling/relationship testing; Setting: local community; Strategy: built environment; Study design: nonexperimental; Target population age: adult; Target population circumstances: geographic location

PMID:
25372234
PMCID:
PMC4759645
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.131021-QUAN-536
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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