Creating healthy, liveable and sustainable cities is a major challenge in the face of population growth, social inequalities, traffic congestion, peak oil and increases in non-communicable diseases. Planning and delivering better cities is a local, national and global priority.

Healthy and liveable communities provide the basis for social equity, harmony, economic resilience and environmental and social sustainability. Our work contributes to academic scholarship and aims to inform policies and practices to create healthy liveable communities.

Bringing together a multidisciplinary research team, this program examines the influence of city design and planning on health and wellbeing.

The research is developed in partnership with stakeholders to inform best practice policy and planning through the creation of evidence-based liveability indicators.

The team draws from experience in epidemiology, behavioural science, geography, geomatics, psychology and public health. They use a variety of quantitative and qualitative analyses including geospatial analyses, policy analysis and economic evaluation.

Our priority areas are to:

  • explore the nexus between place, health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on locational disadvantage,
  • examine the extent to which local and state planning policies, including transport, land use and health impact on the social determinants of health,
  • influence future policies to improve population outcomes.

We have a strong focus on research translation and engagement, collaborating with communities, government, non-government organisations and the private sector in health, planning, housing and transport.

We are home to the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable Communities; and are members of The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (NHMRC funded and undertaking a National Liveability study); and the Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme (undertaking a Policy-Relevant Urban Liveability Indicators Study).

Our director is Billie Giles-Corti, a Distinguished Professor at RMIT University and Director of its Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform.

Projects

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable Communities

The Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable and Equitable Communities investigates cost-effective built environment interventions to create healthy, liveable and equitable communities in Australia

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Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health

The Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) aims to identify cost-effective policies that improve the health of people with disabilities in Australia.

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The National Liveability Study

This project has developed a set of liveability indicators for alcohol, food, public open space, transport, walkability, affordable housing and access to employment which are now being calculated and mapped for Australian major cities.

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Changing Children’s Chances

Bringing together leading national and international child equity researchers to identify potential ways to reduce early developmental inequities in Australian children.

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Creating liveable and healthy neighbourhoods for young children and families

Does neighbourhood design make a difference to early childhood development (ECD)? This project connects urban design and planning disciplines with ECD to explore the impacts of where we live on young children and families.

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Developing a Pilot Victorian Urban Liveability Index

Researchers are developing a composite indicator of urban liveability for use in policy. It has been conceptualised from a social determinants of health lens and allows for flexible assessment within and between neighbourhoods.

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The High Life: Could apartment design policy improve residents’ health and wellbeing?

The project examines the interplay between apartment design policy, design outcomes, and residents’ health and wellbeing outcomes in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

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Understanding how local and regional accessibility are associated with active travel, and related health and economic impacts

This project models the physical activity and health economic impacts of the ease of walking and cycling to essential destinations within neighbourhoods and commuting in Melbourne.

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Contextualising liveability within a low to middle income country’s city

RMIT urban health experts will help Bangkok city planners tackle liveability challenges facing their city.

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Key People

Lead researcher

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Director, Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform

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Key Researchers

Higher Degree Research Students

Administration Staff

Related Content

Events

Designing Healthy Liveable Cities Conference

By 2050 Australia’s urban population may double, increasing pressure on transport, congestion, infrastructure and housing affordability. Planning that creates compact, pedestrian-friendly and inclusive cities can overcome these challenges. Globally, liveable cities are recognised as part of the solution to chronic disease and health inequities. However, there is a gap between the aspirations of liveability and […]

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News & Blog

Testing public transport policies with travel and health outcomes

Public transport is a marker of a city’s liveability and an important social determinant of health.

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RMIT inspires Bangkok city planners tackling livability issues

RMIT has hosted delegates from Bangkok Metropolitan Government, with the University’s urban experts helping guide innovative solutions for livability challenges facing the Thai capital.

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No dress rehearsal: why we must act now to save our cities

Billie Giles-Corti knows what makes cities liveable. And she says we need to work together to design better urban spaces for everyone.

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Introducing Billie Giles-Corti: Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform Director

This year, RMIT University had the pleasure of welcoming Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti to RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) as the Urban Futures Director.

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Higher-density cities need greening to stay healthy and liveable

Cities are home to more than just people. We also need to accommodate the critters and plants who live in them.

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