Evaluation

An evaluation strategy is an important aspect of a Healthiest Practice Open Streets program.  It is something that takes careful thought and planning so it should be created upfront.  

Here are four critical reasons why evaluation is so important:

  1. You can use the results of your evaluation to guide improvements in your program. 
  2. The results can demonstrate the effectiveness of your program, showing why it is valuable and why it should continue, grow and expand.
  3. Funders often require robust evaluation plans before going forward and/or if you are trying to attract new funders, having solid evidence of your success is critical. 
  4. You can contribute to a global body of knowledge, which is important to drive policy related change.  

In fact, when building your team it may be useful to find a person or group who has a particular expertise in evaluation. An evaluation partner can take on specific tasks, lessening your workload, and they can also assist in providing a more objective third-party perspective.  

When looking for an evaluation partner, you might consider someone from a local college or university—perhaps an urban planning, public health, or recreation program/department.


Our Growing Body of Knowledge

Many researchers are currently working to enhance research, data collection, and evaluation related to Healthiest Practice Open Streets. We hope that by creating a more robust body of research (which inherently means more robust program evaluation) we are better able to understand the impact these programs can have on the health of our cities, and make the case for policy change and funding. 

Stay tuned to this page for updated evaluation tools and strategies!  

Would you like help with evaluation? Do you want to contribute to our shared Open Streets knowledge?
Please contact us!

To assist you in designing your evaluation strategy, please use the following tool: 

THE OPEN STREETS INITIATIVES: MEASURING SUCCESS

The Open Streets Initiatives: Measuring Success toolkit provides cities, bicycle/pedestrian agencies, academics, and others interested in measuring the success of Open Streets initiatives, a framework for capturing physical activity, participant counts, business buy-in, and other relevant measures.

Evaluation has been lacking in many initiatives, making comparisons and lessons learned difficult to establish. Drs. Hipp and Eyler, funded by Active Living Research, evaluated eight Open Streets in the St. Louis, MO, region and have developed a toolkit for measuring the success of Open Streets initiatives.

Download the PDF version of Measuring the Success of Open Streets Initiatives