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Improving the health of Australians by applying evidence from behavioural epidemiology to urban design projects

Beza, Beau B., Veitch, Jenny and Hanson, Frank 2015, Improving the health of Australians by applying evidence from behavioural epidemiology to urban design projects, in Urban Design 2015: Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects : Proceedings of the 8th International Urban Design Conference, Association for Sustainability in Business, Nerang, Qld., pp. 1-18.

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Title Improving the health of Australians by applying evidence from behavioural epidemiology to urban design projects
Author(s) Beza, Beau B.
Veitch, Jenny
Hanson, Frank
Conference name Urban Design. International Conference (8th : 2015 : Brisbane, Qld.)
Conference location Brisbane QLD, 16 –18 November 2015
Conference dates 16-18 Nov. 2015
Title of proceedings Urban Design 2015: Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects : Proceedings of the 8th International Urban Design Conference
Editor(s) Beza, B.
Jones, D.
Publication date 2015
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher Association for Sustainability in Business
Place of publication Nerang, Qld.
Summary Rapid urban population growth in Australia requires an expansion of supporting hard and soft infrastructure. In the State of Victoria, directing this growth are a number of urban design and planning mechanisms that provide a ‘blueprint for development and investment’. Although topics revolving around physical health are present in these and other planning related documents, largely absent from this literature are ‘tools’ to assist decision makers in determining whether or not an urban setting supports physical health and provides opportunities for physical activity. Insufficient physical activity is a risk factor contributing to Australia’s growing and significant burden of chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and overweight/obesity. The potential of the built environment to influence population-level physical activity is well recognised. A key element in Victoria’s planning framework that can help address these health concerns is the provision and redevelopment of open space(s) in urban areas that provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in physical activity. However, in the realisation of these settings, evidence informing the design of urban open space(s) that promote opportunities for physical activity is needed to produce evidence based decision making. Using the three geo-spatial visioning layers embedded in Victoria’s planning framework (i.e. Growth Area Framework Plans, Precinct Structure Plans and Planning Permits) as positioning instruments, this paper merges the fields of behavioural epidemiology and urban design to: i) provide a brief overview of current research relating to design of open space to optimise usage and physical activity, ii) consider what type of evidence relating to features of open space is needed to help inform decision makers, iii) consider the methods and procedures practitioners may use to incorporate evidence in to their planning, and iv) discuss the geo-spatial development level that the respective data can best assist decision making to achieve positive gains in physical health.
ISBN 9781922232359
Language eng
Field of Research 120101 Architectural Design
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Copyright notice ©2015, Association for Sustainability in Business
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30083274

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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