The Streets Ahead program was designed to create supportive environments that increase children’s active travel and independent mobility in all aspects of their local community life, not only to and from school.
VicHealth funded six councils for three years between July 2008 and June 2011 to implement Streets Ahead.
The demonstration projects were located in: Bendigo; Brimbank; Cardinia; Darebin; Geelong and Wodonga. Within each local government area, Streets Ahead targeted a cluster of three or four primary schools, in a bounded geographical neighbourhood that faced the greatest health inequalities within that area.
A great diversity of approaches and projects resulted from the place-based work conducted by the project officers, each applying their specific skills to the unique characteristics of each area. Some projects for example, took a strong community development approach, while others relied more on health promotion principles.
The projects employed a suite of strategies typically including liaising with council for infrastructure change—most commonly to improve road safety—direct participation programs and activities for schools, and capacity building of local community groups to enhance community connectedness and increase ownership of the Streets Ahead Program’s priorities.
The projects evolved over the three years as the project officers responded to changing circumstances and opportunities that arose.
Read the Program Evaluation.