Quality green space supporting health, wellbeing and biodiversity: a literature review (2017)
Design and delivery of open spaces that promote the health and wellbeing of people and the natural environment is a key challenge for health and urban planning in rapidly growing cities. There is growing recognition of the need for higher-density more compact urban form to accommodate the growing urban populations. In turn, this places greater pressure on Public Open Space (POS) and green spaces within urbanised areas and emphasises the important role of city planning to incorporate green spaces. A greater understanding of how these spaces should be designed is needed to support human health and the environment, including the physical, mental and social health of individuals and communities, and the maintenance of ecosystem services and biodiversity.
This review was prepared by University of Melbourne, School of Population and Global Health and was a collaborative project between SA Health, The Heart Foundation (South Australian), the South Australian Local Government Association, Office for Recreation and Sport, and Department for the Environment, Water and Natural Resources. The report presents evidence on characteristics of POS and green space that benefits human health and wellbeing, biodiversity and ecosystem services.
POS and green space are considered important for public health, personal wellbeing and vital for the provision of urban ecosystems services and maintaining biodiversity in cities. These spaces are widely understood as ‘improving’ cities by increasing amenity and providing places for both passive and active recreation.
The report attempts to define the attributes of “quality” and identifies a number of principles in order to achieve the co-benefits and deliver quality green space.
Download the report here – Green Spaces Evidence Review
Lightsview Case Study (2015)
Lightsview, South Australia. Award winning development.
A 5 year review of using Healthy by Design on a new medium density development.
This review discusses the implementation of principles for:
walking and cycling, public transport, street design, community facilities, supporting infrastructure, urban food, density
Does Density Matter? The role of density in creating walkable neighbourhoods (2014) – click image to download
This discussion paper argues that:
- People living in higher density neighbourhoods undertake more walking and physical activity than people living in low density neighbourhoods
- Density and six other key built environment features work together to create walkable neighbourhoods
- Additional amenity makes density work and can enhance community acceptance of density
Healthy by Design SA: A guide for planning, designing and developing healthy urban environments in South Australia (2013) – click image to download
Healthy By Design SA aims to assist planners, urban designers and related professionals to design healthy urban environments that enable people to make healthy lifestyle choices and, in particular, to incorporate incidental physical activity – such as walking and cycling for transport and recreation – into their daily routine.
The guidelines include key action areas, objectives, design principles and considerations and explanatory statements. It also includes a Matrix of Design Considerations which highlights the synergies between healthy by design and a range of other key design agendas in order to support an integrated approach to urban design and reduce perceptions that the guidelines complete or conflict with other design agendas.
Streets for People : Compendium for South Australian Practice (2012) click image to download resource
Being active is good for the health of South Australians, our economy and our environment. But the reality of our modern lives is that many struggle to reach healthy levels of daily physical activity.
There is growing recognition by built environment professionals and health practitioners that urban form and street design can play a role in increasing physical activity to prevent chronic disease and enhance health and wellbeing.
We want to reclaim streets as not solely the domain of motor vehicles but also for pedestrians and cyclists and as public spaces for social and commercial interaction. Putting people first and creating pedestrian and cycle friendly environments, which will make our communities more vibrant, safe and healthy.
Open Space Literature Review
This review identifies academic and policy evidence in relation to amount, types, uses, location and design of public open spaces. The review also includes a specific focus on the policy perspective relating to open and public space in higher densities and transit-orientated developments.Creating Active Communities: How Can Open and Public Spaces in Urban and Suburban Environments Support Active Living? A Literature Review (2009)
Good for Business – The benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly (2011) – click image to download resource
A discussion paper on the benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly. UK expert on walking for active transport, Dr Rodney Tolley, was commissioned by the Heart Foundation to write a discussion paper that explored the economic benefits to retailers and residents from streets that had been designed for pedestrians and cyclists.
National Heart Foundation Resources
Our evidence-based resources support relevant built environment, government and health professionals to make our cities and towns healthier places to live. Altogether, our resources provide an essential toolbox for those concerned with, or working in the creation of, liveable places and spaces.