Associate Professor Melanie Davern

Melanie is an Associate Professor within the Health, Place & Society group in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

A/Prof Melanie Davern has research interest and expertise in both public health and urban planning customised for direct application in policy, planning and industry. This has been developed through long standing interest and knowledge in the development of social, economic and environmental indicators, individual and community wellbeing derived from complex research investigating the connection between the social determinants of health, public health outcomes and urban planning and design. These cross disciplinary areas describe my expertise, passion, dedication and reputation for the translation of this research into practice. This knowledge is more simply communicated as liveability research combined through the learnings of public health and urban planning to create real world impact from research evidence.

Melanie is the Director of the Australian Urban Observatory (auo.org.au) located within the Centre for Urban Research that is measuring liveability at the neighbourhood level across the 21 largest cities of Australia. She was formally the Director of Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) within the Melbourne School of Population & Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

Melanie’s partnership-based approach to policy focused research has resulted in extensive successful partnerships across all tiers of government, community organisations and industry that seek to use data and research evidence as a catalyst for future action to improve liveability, health and wellbeing for all members of the community.

View Full profile

Related Content

Projects

Understanding and planning for the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change in the City of Greater Dandenong and the Mornington Peninsula Shire

2021 (ongoing)

This project brings together researchers and practitioners planning for equitable health and wellbeing outcomes for all in the context of a changing climate.

Early delivery of equitable and healthy transport options in new suburbs

2018–2021

The project will produce evidence and tools to assist both the public and private sectors provide transport options to residents of Melbourne’s new suburbs as soon as they move in.

Regional Liveability

2018 (ongoing)

This project investigates the impacts on the lived experience of people in major Australian cities, focusing on the effects of land-use, diffuse air pollution, transport, urban heat and the interconnections between them.

News & Blog

News

State budget bounce-back: experts on where funding should go

13 May 2021

After undergoing the harshest lockdowns in the country, how should Victoria spend its budget to bounce back? RMIT academics share their expert view on where best to splash the cash for the state’s COVID-19 recovery.

News

Rethinking cities with ageing in mind

16 April 2021

From urban wellbeing and public health to urban planning and housing, RMIT researchers are helping to build age-friendly cities across Europe and Australia.

Blog

Aged care isn’t working, but we can create neighbourhoods to support healthy ageing in place

29 October 2020

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed issues and inequities across society. How we plan for ageing populations and older people is one critical issue that has been neglected for decades.

News

Ten ways RMIT research is helping to build a more sustainable future

21 September 2020

From turning back the emissions clock to building more durable roads from old tyres, RMIT researchers are tackling today’s biggest challenges and developing solutions for a more sustainable world.

News

New smart tool to step up walkability in rural Australia

10 August 2020

New research aims to strengthen walkability in rural and regional areas, delivering an innovative smart online tool to support and encourage Australians to get active.

Blog

Mapping COVID-19 spread in Melbourne shows link to job types and ability to stay home

30 July 2020

We mapped the connection between occupation types, indicating the ability to work from home, and the locations of COVID-19 cases across Melbourne in the recent second wave.

Blog

Coronavirus reminds us how liveable neighbourhoods matter for our well-being

21 April 2020

We are witnessing changes in the ways we use our cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The liveability of our local neighbourhoods has never been more important.

Blog

The average regional city resident lacks good access to two-thirds of community services, and liveability suffers

16 March 2020

The way our growing cities are planned and built is becoming ever more important in building healthy, liveable and sustainable communities.

Media

Australia’s most liveable regional cities revealed

16 March 2020

Victoria is home to Australia's most liveable regional cities – Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong – according to new research that for the first time maps health and liveability across the country’s 21 largest cities.

News

New digital platform maps liveability in our major cities

05 February 2020

A groundbreaking new digital platform is set to transform how we map liveability in major cities across the country, in an Australian first.

News

Five liveability challenges Melbourne and Bangkok must face together

19 August 2019

What can Melbourne and Bangkok learn from each other to improve liveability and wellbeing for their residents?

Blog

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

09 September 2018

The question of which city is the most liveable is an annual hot topic. Competition is fierce, especially between Melbourne and Sydney.

Publications