Healthy Spaces & Places Healthy Spaces & Places

Who is this for?


If you are passionate about the places in which we live (our cities, towns and local neighbourhoods) being more friendly for walking, cycling or taking the dog for a walk, then this website is for you.

If you are worried about Australia’s obesity and overweight epidemic and want to see how we as a society and individually can improve health and wellbeing lifelong, then this website is for you also.

When ‘community’ is referred to here or in Healthy Spaces and Places documents, ‘community’ can mean: individuals (the public), community organisations, schools, advocacy organisations and peak bodies.

Healthy Spaces and Places provides ‘the community’ with opportunities to:

  • read the research which tells us why quality built environments (places) are so important to our health, fitness and happiness
  • look at examples of well-designed places that encourage walking, cycling and public transport usage
  • better understand what it is that planners, designers and related groups should consider when planning, designing and building places so that those places best support people’s lifelong health and wellbeing
  • get to know who to talk to and work with, to advocate for planning, design and infrastructure that gives priority to  walking, cycling, physical recreation and use of public transport.

The information on this site includes:

  • Case Studies - practical Australian examples on how healthy planning principles can make for better places
  • Design Principles – how the design of places can affect physical activity
  • Development Types - how healthy design principles can be applied to a range of development types, such as schools, neighbourhood parks and shopping precincts
  • Why Health & Planning? – the evidence on how good planning can improve health and wellbeing
  • Making it Happen – information on how planners, designers and others can put into practice planning for health and active living
  • Australian Planning Systems: Health Interventions  – outlines the the stages in Australian planning systems where health and wellbeing can be addressed.

Using the glossary

The glossary on this website is an important tool. It aims to help bridge gaps between the ‘languages’ of the different groups that may have impeded understandings and actions in the past, especially between planning and design professionals, health professionals and the community.

Much thought has gone into de-jargonising the language used, wherever possible. However, some terms are difficult to explain in simpler ways and/or removing them can seem like ‘dumbing down’ language in ways that is confusing.  So, when there are terms that are not familiar to you please refer to the glossary for explanations.


Last updated on 6th August, 2009

Sponsors This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.