Walking Policy Steps – The Policy Development Process for the First State Walking Target in New South Wales, Australia

Walking

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

ISSN: 2044-9941

Publication date: 16 June 2017

Abstract

Walking for transport can contribute significantly to population levels of physical activity. Health agencies are consequently seeking opportunities to influence transport policy to achieve co-benefits of increased physical activity and reduced congestion. This case study utilised Kingdon’s ‘Multiple Stream’ theory as a framework to examine the policy development process that led to the establishment of the first ever state walking target and subsequent state walking strategy in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. This chapter presents how evidence compilation was translated into various policy solutions across sectors before an opportune political environment provided a brief ‘policy window’ (the 2011 state election in NSW, Australia and change of Government). The advantages of a ‘policy entrepreneur’ formally empowered to engage policy makers across multiple agencies and identify forthcoming ‘policy windows’ to frame politically palatable walking policy solutions is highlighted. No data have been compiled to measure the impact of the finalised policy upon walking in NSW. The case study reinforces previous research findings that walking policy development, like other areas of public health, is often based more on politics and professional judgement than on research evidence alone. Differences in walking target measures in the health and transport sectors influence which policy solutions are prioritised. The chapter describes the policy development process of the first state walking strategy in NSW, Australia to better understand factors that may influence similar future policy decisions.

Keywords

Citation

McCue, P. (2017), "Walking Policy Steps – The Policy Development Process for the First State Walking Target in New South Wales, Australia", Walking (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 9), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 233-248. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2044-994120170000009014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited

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