Only as Healthy As Your Postcode



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Your health is not usually the first consideration when choosing a new postcode, however where you live is increasingly recognised as a key determinant for your health and wellbeing.

The answer lies in the planning and design of our neighbourhoods, with the ‘healthiest’ neighbourhoods providing residents with convenient access to quality open spaces, employment, shops and services and the opportunity to fulfil a broad range of daily needs by active and public transport. Melbourne’s established suburbs tend to perform well in this regard, whilst the city’s newest suburbs routinely generate more barriers than opportunities for healthy lifestyles, with the costs passed on to residents and the public health system.

While the connection between health outcomes, planning and design is increasingly acknowledged, the role of the planning system to implement public health policy remains largely unexplored. This raises the question: how can the planning system be used as a tool for public health policy?

If done well, this may result in our new and renewed neighbourhoods providing more residents with the opportunity to lead active and healthy lifestyles, making for happy and healthier communities and reducing the cost borne by the public health system.

Join us for this MTalks session, which brings together an expert panel of planners, academics and designers. They will explore the role and responsibility of planning and design to promote positive health outcomes, and will suggest how the Victorian planning system may be reinvented as a tool for preventative health policy.

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Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.