New Report: Investigation of Supportive Policy for Active School Travel
A research team from the Human Environments Analysis Lab and Ontario Active School Travel (Green Communities Canada) recently published a report titled, “Investigation of Supportive Policy for Active School Travel: Evidence-based recommendations for policies to promote active transportation for school journeys.” The research was led by Kate Berry, Dr. Andrew Clark, Dr. Jason Gilliland, Emma Fabri, and Melissa Thomas.
Active School Travel (AST) is defined as any mode of human-powered transportation to and from school.
Studies show that school-aged children’s engagement in AST is correlated with higher daily levels of physical activity, improved fitness levels, improved academic performance, brain development, and connections with nature and peers. School travel is influenced by a variety of social and environmental factors, and is intricately tied to geography, student transportation policy, and municipal planning. The report aims to map policies that affect family and student choice of transportation modes when traveling to and from school, as well as identifying 57 evidence-based recommendations for policies supporting AST in Ontario.
The findings and policy recommendations arising from this report have been informed through a comprehensive literature review of 185 academic journal articles, environmental policy scans of 24 regions in Ontario, and 555 key informant surveys and interviews. The 57 policy recommendations resulting from this report are organized into five key themes: 1) Planning, 2) Infrastructure, 3) School Site, 4) Student Transportation, and 5) School Travel Planning.
The report highlights the critical role policies and procedures play in supporting and promoting the use of active travel modes. It also serves as a guidance document that will inform AST-related policies at provincial and local governance levels across Ontario.
To read the full report and find further AST policy resources, head to https://ontarioactiveschooltravel.ca/policy-recommendations/. This project was made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada, the Government of Ontario, and Mitacs.
Citation: Berry, K., Clark, A., Gilliland, J., Fabri, E., Thomas, M. (2022). Investigation of Supportive Policy for Active School Travel: Evidence-based recommendations for policies to promote active transportation for school journeys. Ontario Active School Travel, Green Communities Canada.