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.

  • Project dates: 2017 (ongoing)


In 2013, the Prevention Centre funded the National Liveability Study to develop and validate a set of national, urban, policy-relevant, liveability indicators associated with chronic disease and health outcomes. This was successfully achieved in 2015 with the delivery of a set of indicators (measures) covering five liveability domains: alcohol, food, public open space, transport and walkability and five different cities.

The final report recommended extending the coverage of the indicators to include all Australian capital cities and linking these to national health survey data.  This will enable dissemination of the indicators and their use in planning urban environments to achieve healthier, more liveable communities. This next stage is now underway.

In consultation with external stakeholders, the project team is developing a national database that will contain indicators for the liveability domains of walkability, transport, public open space, food environment, alcohol environment, housing affordability, and employment. The project team is also developing tools, including an online portal, for users to:

  • Access the indicators across each of the liveability domain
  • Visualise the indicators within a specific area such as where people live
  • Compare liveability indicators across major capital cities for different areas

From mid-2017 the project team will be consulting with external stakeholders for feedback and, in October, will make the indicators available through an online portal.   The portal will provide stakeholders with the ability to upload addresses and download liveability indicators for each address.  User feedback on the portal will help the project team plan the future direction of this key tool for analysing and visualising indicators spatially, and the tool will then be made available for wider use.

The team is also linking the liveability indicators to national population health data. This will allow new insights into the relationship between liveability measures and health outcomes, to be studied across Australian cities. The national health data will be drawn from the national surveys, AusDiab, and Ten to Men  They will also link the data to the 45 And Up study in NSW.

What are the expected outcomes?

  • Robust and accessible indicators to help policy makers, planners and researchers compare Australian capital cities and look for inequities within cities and disseminated by the Australian Urban Observatory.
  • Through modelling and simulation, further evidence about why health outcomes might vary in different locations
  • Tools to enable the current indicators to be used, including a national database and online portal

Image credit: Sarah Lay

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