Healthy Liveable Cities Group Vision and Mission Statements

Vision

Our vision is to create and share knowledge that will build healthy, equitable and sustainable cities.

Mission

Our mission is to conduct innovative interdisciplinary and collaborative research that advances understanding about the connection between health and urban planning to inform and improve policy and practice on how to plan and build healthy, equitable and sustainable cities.

About Our Group

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

2017–2018

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

Benchmarking, monitoring, modelling and valuing the healthy liveable city

2019–2020

Along with our Department of Health and South Australia Health partners, this project builds on our national liveability indicator work to improve understandings of the relationship between built environments, daily activities and travel choices.

Living liveable: The lived experiences of life on the urban fringe

2019

“Living Liveable”, is a short documentary film showcasing the lived experiences of residents in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

HABITAT: A study of how areas in Brisbane influence health and activity.

(ongoing)

Designing cities to promote health and well-being: the HABITAT multilevel longitudinal study of Brisbane (Australia) neighbourhoods and their ‘baby boomer’ residents.

Measuring, monitoring, and translating urban liveability in Bangkok

2018–2020

RMIT urban health scholars will partner with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to develop and test a suite of open source liveability indicators aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals for the city of Bangkok.

Creating Liveable Cities in Australia – Scorecards

2018 (ongoing)

A scorecard and priority recommendations for Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane developed using results from the 'Creating Liveable Cities in Australia' (2017) report.

Optimising apartment design policy to equitably enhance mental health

2018 (ongoing)

This study will generate evidence on the key health enhancing design requirements that should be entrenched in the new Design WA Apartment Design Guidelines.

Latest Healthy Cities Research

(ongoing)

Click here to review the latest in healthy cities research.

Early delivery of equitable and healthy transport options in new suburbs

2018–2020

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.

Urban Systems for 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.

The Urban Observatory

2017 (ongoing)

The RMIT Urban Observatory is a portal currently under development at RMIT that enables policy makers, planners and members of the general community to access a wide range of indicators relating to the built environment.

Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health

2017 (ongoing)

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.

Creating Liveable Cities in Australia

2017 (ongoing)

Creating Liveable Cities in Australia is the first “baseline” measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals.

The National Liveability Study

2017 (ongoing)

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.

Changing Children’s Chances

2017

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

Creating liveable and healthy neighbourhoods for young children and families

2017 (ongoing)

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.

Developing a Pilot Victorian Urban Liveability Index

2017 (ongoing)

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.

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

2018 (ongoing)

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

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

2017 (ongoing)

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.

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

2017–2018

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

Key People

Lead researcher

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Director of Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform & Convener of the Healthy Liveable Cities Group

Key Researchers

Higher Degree Research Students

Administration Staff

Honorary & Associate Staff

Related Content

News & Blog

Blog

It’s easy to get us walking more if we have somewhere to walk to near our home and work

11 October 2019

We know walking more and increasing our levels of exercise are good for our health. But how can we walk more in our busy lives?

News

What you really need to know about Melbourne being named the world’s second most liveable city – again

05 September 2019

Melbourne has retained second place in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global liveability index but what, if anything, does it all mean? Our experts explain.

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?

News

Meet Claire Boulange: Expert in urban analytics for healthy cities

20 June 2019

Can video games like SimCity help smart city design? Dr Claire Boulange explains how planning can be playful to build healthy liveable cities for all.

Blog

Creating built environments to support active living

28 May 2019

More than 75% of the population of Australia’s largest cities continue to live in suburbs. The implications include reduced opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, access to public transport & high motor vehicle dependency.

News

Landmark liveability research wins at national planning awards

17 May 2019

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

Blog

Of all the problems our cities need to fix, lack of car parking isn’t one of them

17 May 2019

Parking is a fiery issue in Australian cities. That’s because cars dominate our cities, supported by decades of unbalanced planning decisions favouring space for cars over other land uses or forms of transport

Blog

Liveable urban environments: An opportunity or threat to reducing health inequities?

10 May 2019

Creating ‘liveable’ urban environments is seen as an important way of improving the health and wellbeing of the residents in our towns and cities.

Media

Want to get people walking? Make train stations about more than transport

29 April 2019

Train station precincts with more shops and apartment blocks are key to getting residents walking, a new report has found, with stations in Melbourne’s north and south-east ripe for redevelopment.

News

Meet the women helping plan the cities of tomorrow

05 March 2019

As Melbourne grows, we need to better plan how we build healthy, equitable and liveable cities. Here four RMIT researchers talk about how their work is helping deliver better cities.

Blog

Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

20 February 2019

Recent studies show Melbourne’s and Sydney’s fast-growing outer suburbs lag behind other parts of the city in access to urban design, employment and amenities and services that foster liveability.

News

Study reveals economic and health benefits of denser suburbs

19 February 2019

Denser and more walkable suburban developments keep chronic diseases at bay and deliver lifetime economic and health gains of $4,500 for every resident, new research shows.

Events

Past Events

Planning Healthy Cities: A Conversation with Planners, Scholars & Industry

14 August 2019, 4:30PM-7:00PM

How can we deliver improved health outcomes through best practice urban planning processes and policies?

Past Events

Short/Single Course: Integrating Health and Planning

10 July 2019, 9:00AM-5:00PM

Healthy Liveable Cities is offering an exciting new short course ‘Integrating Health and Planning’ in July 2019

Past Events

ABM Hack: an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional hackathon for large-scale urban simulation

1 February 2019, 9:30AM-4:30PM

The session aims to draw on the collective knowledge of participants to build models of cycling behaviour into the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM).  

Past Events

The Unsettling Outdoors: Studying environmental estrangement in everyday life

5 February 2019, 12:00PM-1:00PM

Associate Professor of Human Geography Russell Hitchings from University College London discusses how the idea and the experience of outdoor environments can unsettle patterns of everyday life.

Past Events

Creating liveable cities in Australia: Launch of the Melbourne Scorecard

10 September 2018, 5:30PM-7:30PM

Join us for this informal networking event hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia for the presentation of  A Scorecard and Priority Recommendations for Melbourne – a new report measuring Melbourne’s true liveability progress. 

Past Events

Public participatory GIS mapping methods

11 July 2018, 12:00PM-1:00PM

In the seminar, guest speaker Tiina Laatikainen, MSc, Doctoral Student at Aalto University, Finland, will introduce the SoftGIS method and its various research as well as planning practice applications.