Landmark liveability research wins at national planning awards

Pioneering RMIT research that delivered the first true measurement of liveability in Australia’s capital cities has been recognised with a top planning award.

Hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), the National Awards for Planning Excellence celebrates the best and boldest planning projects across the country.

The coveted 2019 award for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching went to the RMIT Centre for Urban Research’s Healthy Liveable Cities Group for their report Creating Liveable Cities in Australia.

Congratulations to Dr Lucy Gunn, Carl Higgs and Julianna Rozek, part of the research team behind the first ever baseline measure of liveability in our state and territory capitals.

Seven years in the making, the report is a unique urban research and analytical tool that provides a comprehensive baseline measure for urban liveability of state and territory capital cities and makes recommendations on how they can improve.

The tool’s research and mapping enable planners, urban policy developers and influencers to analyse the contribution and success made through the implementation of policy ambition to real “on the ground” liveability outcomes.

Accepting the award on behalf of the RMIT team and their Australian Catholic University and University of Western Australia collaborators were Dr Lucy Gunn, Julianna Rozek and Carl Higgs from the Healthy Liveable Cities Group.

Report chief investigator, Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of RMIT’s Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform, said she was delighted the research had been recognised by the nation’s leading planners and built environment professionals.

“This report is the product of a huge team effort that builds on seven years of liveability research,” Giles-Corti said.

“The team are thrilled to receive this honour and national recognition by PIA.

“We are grateful to The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub and the Nation National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence for funding the national liveability project that won this award.”

The data from the Creating Liveable Cities report is now being used to develop the RMIT Urban Observatory, a portal that enables policy makers, planners and members of the general community to access a wide range of indicators, such as walkability, transport, housing affordability, relating to the built environment.

“The report has paved the way for the development of the Urban Observatory and development of liveability indicators for 21 Australian cities, which will be coming out later this year,” Giles-Corti said.

Story: Chanel Bearder