Developing the tools to map and measure urban liveability across Australia – Phase 1

Details

Status completed

Start Date

End Date

Introduction

This project developed a national database of indicators for the liveability domains of walkability, transport, public open space, food environment, alcohol environment, housing affordability and employment.

This will ensure the measures are disseminated and used in planning urban environments to achieve healthier, more liveable communities.

About

Measuring and mapping urban liveability across Australia – developing tools for use by policy makers, practitioners and researchers to identify inequities and plan better cities

Project title

What is the issue?

In 2013, the Prevention Centre funded the National Liveability Study to develop and validate a set of national, urban, policy-relevant, liveability indicators associated with chronic disease and health outcomes.

This was successfully achieved in 2015 with the delivery of a set of indicators (measures) covering five liveability domains: alcohol, food, public open space, transport and walkability and five different cities.

The final report from the first stage of the study recommended extending the coverage of the indicators to include all Australian capital cities and linking these to national health survey data. This will ensure the measures are disseminated and used in planning urban environments to achieve healthier, more liveable communities. This next stage is underway with the project team developing tools, including a national indicators database and online portal, for users to:

  • Access the indicators across each of the liveability domains
  • Visualise the indicators within a specific area such as where people live
  • Compare the liveability of an area for each of the liveability domains.

How did the project address the issue?

In consultation with external stakeholders, the project team developed a national database of indicators for the liveability domains of walkability, transport, public open space, food environment, alcohol environment, housing affordability and employment.

The project team consulted with external stakeholders, making the national database available to them through an online portal. Stakeholders will be able to upload individual addresses into the portal, and download the matching liveability indicators for each address. Continual user feedback on the portal will help the project team plan the future direction of this key tool for analysing and visualising indicators spatially, before the tool is made available for wider use.

The team will also link national population health data to the liveability indicators in the database. This will allow new insights into the relationship between liveability measures and health outcomes, such as between walkability levels and body mass index. National health data was drawn from the national AusDiab and Ten to Men surveys, with data also linked to the 45 And Up Study.

What are the outcomes?

  • Liveability indicators produced across multiple domains at a national level
  • Further evidence that shows why health outcomes might vary in different locations
  • Tools to ensure the current indicators are used and useful, including a national database and online portal.

Relevance for practice

The national liveability indicator platform will be made available for use by our stakeholders, such as state and local government, and policy and planning practitioners. It will help policy makers, planners and researchers to make comparisons both within cities and between cities, which will help determine inequities in liveability. Findings will be communicated to stakeholders through policy briefs, and through state, regional (e.g. Regional Management Forums) and national (e.g. State of Australian Cities, Planning Institute of Australia) planning and policy meetings, conferences and workshops.

News and media

Other news and media

2018

  • The Age, 7 March 2018: The west has Melbourne’s worst commutes – four hours a day across town
  • The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2018: Sydney on top for liveability, but falling behind on public transport
  • Radio interviews, ABC 774 and 3AW, 11 September 2018: Melbourne Scorecard
  • Herald Sun, 11 September 2018: Big homes in outer suburbs affect Melbourne’s liveability: report
  • RMIT News, 11 September 2018: How liveable is Melbourne really: New report settles the score

 

 

Funding

This project was funded by the NHMRC, Australian Government Department of Health, NSW Ministry of Health, ACT Health and the HCF Research Foundation.