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Active Transportation Promotion: Easier in a European City, but Why?

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Objective: In this study, I explore the influence of contextual factors affecting politics in explaining the different active transportation (AT) rates of Helsinki, Finland and Ottawa, Ontario (Canada). Methods: Interviews with 47 active transportation experts from the 2 cities were conducted. Data were analyzed according to categories derived from the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). Documents were reviewed to triangulate the data. Results: Relative to Ottawa, Helsinki's superior performance in AT may be considerably explained by its more favorable position with respect to relatively stable background-level factors including land use, traditions in transportation planning and transport engineering, and political systems. Conclusions: AT advocacy should devote attention to stable background-level factors. Theoretically-informed political awareness is useful for health promotion.
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Keywords: ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION; ADVOCACY COALITION FRAMEWORK; CYCLING; PUBLIC POLICY; PUBLIC TRANSIT; WALKING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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