Aim: Liveable communities create the conditions to optimise health and wellbeing outcomes in residents by influencing various social determinants of health – for example, neighbourhood walkability and access to public transport, public open space, local amenities, and social and community facilities. This study will develop national liveability indicators that are (a) aligned with state and federal urban policy, (b) developed using national data (where available), (c) standard and consistent over time, (d) suitable for monitoring progress towards creating more liveable, equitable and sustainable communities, (e) validated against selected noncommunicable disease risk behaviours and/or health outcomes, and (f) practical for measuring local, national and federal built environment interventions.
Study type: Protocol.
Method: Over two years, the National Liveability Study, funded through The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPPC), will develop and validate a national set of spatially derived built environment liveability indicators related to noncommunicable disease risk behaviours and/or health outcomes, informed by a review of relevant policies in selected Australian state and territory governments. To create national indicators, we will compare measures developed using national data with finer-grained state-level data, which have been validated against a range of outcomes. Finally, we will explore the creation of a national database of built environment spatial indicators.
Results: A national advisory group comprising stakeholders in state and federal government, federal nongovernment organisations and state-based technical working groups located in the ACT, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA has been established; a policy analysis is under way and work programs are being prepared.
Conclusion: This project seeks to build the capacity for built environment and health systems research by developing national indicators to monitor progress towards creating healthy and liveable communities. This ambition requires multisector engagement and an interdisciplinary research team.