UNSW Built Environment Utzon Lecture Series: Healthy Built Environments = Healthy CitiesBy
Oct. 13, 2010 - Oct. 13, 2010
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Faculty of Built Environment, Red Centre West Wing, Ground Floor, UNSW, Kingsford, NSW
Australia today faces epidemics of obesity, chronic diseases (including heart disease, lung disease and cancers) and depression. The cost of the obesity epidemic alone has been estimated at more than $20 billion per annum. This is leading to more emphasis on health promotion and prevention of disease, together with the involvement of professions outside the overburdened health system. A growing body of interdisciplinary research has demonstrated that the built environment is a fundamental determinant of health. As 90% of Australians now live in cities, it is critical that urban environments are planned, developed and managed to support health. In this Utzon Lecture we will explore the characteristics of healthy built environments. Our focus will be the role of spaces and places in creating healthy communities and enabling people to live in ecologically sustainable ways. Such communities will have a variety of housing, much of it medium density, which meets the needs of a culturally and demographically diverse population. Short commuting distances will give people more time together enjoying public green spaces that are safe, fun and well used by others. Healthy food will be readily available, some of it grown in community gardens and along residential streets. People will move about efficiently and safely on bicycle and by foot, with easy access to fast, efficient and reliable public transport. Our lecture will provide examples of current collaborative policy and practice which embraces this healthy and sustainable vision. Working in respectful relationships across the built environment and health disciplines is essential for making healthy built environments.