Dr Gunn’s research interests include using quantitative techniques to explore the relationship between the built environment and health and wellbeing outcomes. To investigate this she uses geographic information system (GIS) data of the built environment combined with health and wellbeing survey information.
Her current research explores how the structure of built environments are supportive of healthy behaviors, such as walking, or healthy outcomes such as subjective wellbeing. A key interest is in analyzing and understanding which built environments are supportive of health, since this provides an evidence base to policy makers and planners on what constitutes good built environment design and provides feedback on the implementation of past and current urban design plans. In this area, a health focus is being applied to evaluate and perform economic evaluations of built environment interventions applied to recent precinct structure plans in partnership with the Victorian Planning Authority.
She has found inequity between people when examining socio-spatial indicators of people living close to polluting sites with those living across metropolitan Melbourne. Other publications have explored the use of indicator systems based on consultant working and involvement with Community Indicators Victoria in partnership with EPAV, Ballarat, Boroondara and Cardinia Councils. In this capacity she has delivered training on the use of indicators in Community, Health and Wellbeing planning using Results Based Accountability.