The way cities are designed and managed has big impacts on our health. While Australia is considered a world leader in research on health and cities, nationally our planning policies remain underdeveloped relative to our knowledge base. To remedy this, healthy planning advocates need to better understand how urban planning systems can be influenced.
Several recent, mostly positive, experiences in the New South Wales (NSW) planning system provide insights into this process. Each represents a milestone for land-use planning in this state given extensive reforms have been on and off the table for the past decade.
The connections between city planning and health are many and varied. Key aspects include environmental sustainability, pollution risks and liveable places. Being liveable means having access to healthy food, nearby employment and services, and opportunities for active lifestyles.
These issues are increasingly important given projected population growth pressures on urban infrastructure. Other areas facing similar pressures, in Australia and overseas, might wish to take note of what has happened in NSW.
Read the full article on The Conversation.