Conference paper

Integrated Planning for Healthy Communities: Does Victorian state legislation promote it?

29 Nov 2013

There is increasing Australian and international interest in integrated planning that promotes health and wellbeing. Melbourne is experiencing unprecedented rapid population growth, especially in the outer suburban Growth Areas to the north and west. This is creating public health challenges associated with low-density, single land-use, car-dependent suburban developments. Because of the state government’s leadership role in the planning system, integrated planning across state policy sectors is critical for creating healthy communities. This paper examines the extent to which key Victorian legislation supports integrated planning that promotes health. It involves a content analysis of three statutory documents: the Planning and Environment Act 1987, the Transport Integration Act 2010, and the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. These documents are assessed against criteria that reflect best-practice principles for integrated planning for health. While the Acts contain some supportive features, they also present significant barriers to integrated planning that promotes health. Recommended changes to the legislation are outlined, to assist policymakers to create healthy communities..

The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.

This paper was presented at SOAC 6, held in Sydney from 26-29 November 2013.

SOAC 6was the largest conference to date, with over 180 papers published in collected proceedings. All papers presented at the SOAC 2013 have been subject to a double blind refereeing process and have been reviewed by at least two referees. In particular, the review process assessed each paper in terms of its policy relevance and the contribution to the conceptual or empirical understanding of Australian cities.

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