This project explored how the planning and design of a new residential community can influence the health and wellbeing of future residents.

  • Project dates: 2015

In the context of increasing demand for housing, issues of housing affordability and climate change, the Selandra Rise demonstration project aims to set new benchmarks in liveability and social sustainability. In 2008, the Victorian State Government decided to build a demonstration project to put the health and wellbeing of its residents at the centre of planning a new community with the aim to develop a blueprint for the planning of future communities. A partnership was formed between Stockland, the Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA), the Planning Institute of Australia, and the City of Casey to build Selandra Rise, a new community in Melbourne’s south east growth corridor.

Master-planning for Selandra Rise focused on three core objectives to promote health: 1) an engaged community 2); local employment opportunities and; 3) diverse and affordable housing. Key features included retirement living, schools, parklands and a community garden, a town centre and a home office precinct —all within walking distance.

To evaluate the project, a VicHealth Fellowship was established to study the planned, emerging and accidental health outcomes of Selandra Rise. Funded by VicHealth with contributions from the MPA, the City of Casey and Stockland, the Fellowship was awarded to Dr Cecily Maller at RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research, who with Dr Larissa Nicholls, studied the Selandra Rise community for five years (2010-2015).

The objectives of the research were to:

  • Identify key features that contribute to health and wellbeing and understand the impact.
  • Understand residents’ experience of living at Selandra Rise.
  • Identify ways to improve the design and delivery of Selandra Rise and future communities.
  • Determine the implications of the design for planning future communities.

The main methods of the research included in-depth interviews before and after residents moved to Selandra Rise and longitudinal surveys. The results are currently being finalised and will be available in 2016.

Key People

Project Researchers

  • Dr Cecily Maller, Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr Larissa Nicholls, Research Fellow

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