Partnerships for Parks and Physical Activity

Published In: American Journal of Health Promotion, v. 28, no. 3, Supplement, Jan.-Feb. 2014, p. S97-S99

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014

by Bianca D. Shulaker, Jennifer W. Isacoff, Deborah Cohen, Terry Marsh, Megan Wier, Rajiv Bhatia

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PURPOSE: Given the need for comprehensive and multidisciplinary active living interventions, this article describes an innovative partnership for park design and evaluation. DESIGN: The Trust for Public Land partnered with the RAND Corporation and the San Francisco Department of Public Health to generate context-sensitive active park design, establish evaluation methods, and build the framework for future collaboration. SETTING: These partners worked together from 2009 to 2012 to design, renovate, and study parks in San Francisco, California. SUBJECTS: The three partnering organizations are the focus of this article. INTERVENTION: The Trust for Public Land's Parks for People-Bay Area Program raised more than $16 million to renovate three San Francisco parks, which served as the intervention for a study that initially brought the three partnering organizations together. MEASURES: The authors, who represent the three partners, collaborated to develop the lessons learned. ANALYSIS: This article is a description and commentary about a partnership that emphasized community involvement and rigorous evaluation. RESULTS: Lessons learned and elements for successful partnerships include collaborating with organizations with differing expertise, deciding upon goals initially, finding a common language, involving local communities, and recognizing the importance and appropriate role of evaluations. CONCLUSION: The model for collaboration and community involvement presented supports and encourages other organizations to use strategic, multidisciplinary partnerships and highlights the importance of evaluation.

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