Universities partner with Landcom on landmark healthy living study

Potential planning measures to reduce heart disease, mental illness and Type 2 diabetes in residents living in highly urbanised environments will be explored in a new landmark study.

Landcom is partnering with the University of Technology, the University of Sydney and the University of NSW on the study to examine how future high density developments can be planned with a focus on healthy living.

Landcom Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer John Brogden said the study Translating Evidence to Support Planning Strategies for Healthier, Higher Density Living would provide new knowledge and tools to address a significant gap in planning healthy higher density precincts.

“Landcom has been given the task by the NSW Government to improve housing affordability, supply and diversity, and deliver quality housing and communities that provide social and economic benefits to the people of NSW,” Mr Brogden said.

“As Sydney’s population grows, the way we live is changing.  There is a lack of research in Australia and around the world on what is needed to ensure people can live healthy, sustainable lives in an increasingly urbanised environment.

“There are a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to.  This research will help us learn how we can design our cities to benefit people’s health.”

The project is being led by UTS Associate Professor Jason Prior, UNSW Professor Susan Thompson, and Sydney University Doctor Jennifer Kent.

Associate Professor Prior said the study would look at existing research, and also examine recent Landcom high density developments at Green Square and Victoria Park.

“This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to understand how urban planning and design principles can be applied to high density developments within cities like Sydney to improve population health, and reduce their environmental impacts,” Associate Professor Prior said.

“Issues such as heat from built-up areas, through to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression will be explored as well as strategies to manage these.

“The research findings will help policymakers and industry identify and implement proven health and wellbeing principles into their planning for urban developments.”

The study is expected to take about two and a half years to complete, and findings will be progressively released through Landcom’s annual conference CoLab, which reports on the organisation’s research findings and learning activities.

The project is funded through Landcom’s University Roundtable Research Program, which was established in 2016. The University Roundtable was created to champion multi-disciplinary and collaborative learning that focuses on complex urban challenges and innovation in planning for sustainable development.

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