UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Multilevel Analysis of Municipal Officials' Participation in Land Use Policies Supportive of Active Living: City and Individual Factors

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Public Health Education and Promotion


PURPOSE: To investigate individual- and city-level factors associated with municipal officials' participation in a local land use policy that supports active living.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Eighty-three cities in eight states.

SUBJECTS: Four hundred thirteen elected and appointed officials with various job functions including mayors, city councilors, aldermen, selectmen, city or town managers, and heads of departments of planning, community development, public works, transportation, engineering, parks and recreation, neighborhood services, and public health.

MEASURES: A Web-based survey assessed perceived importance of physical activity and livability issues to job responsibilities; perceived resident support of local government action to address physical activity and livability issues; and residence. City-level factors obtained from Census data included percentage of commuters by walking, bicycling, and public transit. The dependent variable was self-reported participation in developing, adopting, or implementing a local land use policy supportive of active living.

ANALYSIS: Hierarchical (two-level: municipal official-city) logistic regression model, using R.

RESULTS: Municipal officials living in the city where they worked were significantly more likely to be involved in a land use policy. Higher perceived importance of livability issues was associated with participation. Perceived importance of physical activity was inversely associated with land use policy involvement. Higher city-level bicycling rates resulted in increased odds of participation in a land use policy. City-level walking rates were inversely associated with land use policy participation.

CONCLUSION: Municipal officials who worked in cities with a higher proportion of bicycle commuters, who prioritized livability issues, and who resided in the city where they worked were more likely to engage in land use policies supportive of active living.


land use, physical activity, policy, prevention research

DOI of Published Version



Am J Health Promot. 2016 Mar;30(4):287-90. doi: 10.1177/0890117116639571. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of health promotion : AJHP

PubMed ID