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Walking to and from School


ISBN: 978-1-78714-628-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-627-3

Publication date: 16 June 2017


Active school travel, such as walking or cycling to/from school, provides a significant source of physical activity for children. However, the number of children actively travelling to school has declined in recent decades while motor vehicle trips are increasing. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the primary Canadian approach in helping increase active school, through an intervention called School Travel Planning (STP). It addresses the following: explanation of the STP model; the research evidence on STP effectiveness; anecdotal feedback on factors facilitating and hindering STP effectiveness; the costs and benefits of STP; a case study of STP in Toronto; and STP-related tools and resources. STP is a multi-strategic, school-specific intervention that engages school and community-level stakeholders. Evidence demonstrates that STP can facilitate increases in active travel after the first year of implementation, though the degree of change can vary based on a range of factors. In terms of cost-benefit analyses, STP appears to be a relatively (1.8) cost-effective and feasible intervention, which can result in positive school travel behaviour change, while providing economic, environmental and physical activity benefits. Overall, STP can promote increases in active travel following one year of implementation and is relatively cost-effective, feasible, intervention to implement. The content provided in this chapter can inform future practices by highlighting key factors to consider when implementing STP. Also emphasised is the necessity of stakeholder involvement in initiatives promoting active travel to help tackle the complex set of barriers.



Kennedy, J. and Mammen, G. (2017), "Walking to and from School", Walking (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 99-111.



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