Healthy places, active transport and path dependence: a review of the literature

Hensley, Melissa, Mateo-Babiano, Derlie and Minnery, John (2014) Healthy places, active transport and path dependence: a review of the literature. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 25 3: 196-201. doi:10.1071/HE14042

Author Hensley, Melissa
Mateo-Babiano, Derlie
Minnery, John
Title Healthy places, active transport and path dependence: a review of the literature
Journal name Health Promotion Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1036-1073
Publication date 2014-12-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/HE14042
Open Access Status
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 196
End page 201
Total pages 6
Place of publication Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Children walking to school, people cycling to the shops or work and neighbours chatting in the street, these are some of the gauges of an active and healthy community that can be achieved through utilising good design principles. But are these principles being applied in urban developments or are policy-makers following an unfortunate ‘path dependent’ trajectory that severely limits the ‘best practice’ outcomes sought? This review examines current research on path dependence to determine how this concept advances our understanding of barriers to change in the built environment, active transport and healthy communities. An online database search of scholarly bibliographic records identified 22 relevant articles for a critical review of studies that evaluated path dependence in the urban and built environment literature with a focus on transport, urban planning and health. A thematic analysis of the articles showed that different types of path dependence have contributed to the dominance of policies and designs supporting car-based transport to the detriment of public transport and active transport modes, leading to sub-optimal development patterns becoming 'locked-in’. However, the outcomes for active transport and physical activity are not all dire, and path dependence theory does provide some guidance on changing policy to achieve better outcomes. So what? This review suggests that path dependence is one of the best theoretical frameworks to help health promoters understand barriers to change and can provide some insights into developing future successful public health interventions. Future studies could focus further on active transport, local neighbourhood development and physical activity.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 25 Aug 2014, 20:43:45 EST by Dr Iderlina Mateo-Babiano on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management