Research-informed planning into urban design and built environments can significantly boost people’s health and wellbeing. This was the key message at a recent Future Thinkers event held at Lot Fourteen when an audience of more than 150 people heard from Professor Billie Giles-Corti, a world-leading expert on creating healthy liveable cities from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Centre for Urban Research.
This session was part of the Future Thinkers series presented by Renewal SA to help inspire a more connected, creative and innovative future in South Australia. The series offers public talks featuring industry leaders and innovators gave South Australians an insight into how the future may look in many aspects of our lives, including urban living, technology and design. Future Thinkers – Urban Design and Wellbeing was facilitated by The Lead Publishing Editor Jim Plouffe and supported by Lot Fourteen.
Professor Giles-Corti’s team spent five years researching the links between urban design and wellbeing and released a report Creating Liveable Cities in Australia as well as scorecards and priority recommendations for some of Australia’s capital cities.
According to the report, liveable communities are safe, attractive, socially cohesive and inclusive, and environmentally sustainable. They are linked by convenient public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure to employment, education, public open space, local shops, health and community services, and leisure and cultural opportunities.
Professor Giles-Corti explained how walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods with diverse destinations and more amenity encourages people to walk and be active and have the potential to improve public health.
“Our communities need to be designed with physical activity in mind,” she said.
“If there is one thing you can do for your health it is be physically active – it is like a magic bullet”.
Professor Giles-Corti was joined by a panel featuring Gabrielle Kelly, founder and former director of the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre of South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute; Karina Lester of the University of Adelaide’s Mobile Language Team, and architect Richard Stranger of Renewal SA.
Speaking after the event, Richard said Lot Fourteen had been designed to exemplify many of the features of liveable neighbourhoods.
“We are fortunate that Lot Fourteen is well serviced by public transport and walking and cycling paths for active commuting, while the neighbouring Adelaide Botanic Garden, city parklands and River Torrens, provide ample opportunities for recreation” he said.
Lot Fourteen is ideally located in the East End of Adelaide with some of the city’s best food and beverage and shopping options only a short walk away. Soon there will be more options on site, complementary to those available in the East End, for those who work in and visit the neighbourhood. Being in the CBD means health and community services are all close by.
Lot Fourteen is part of North Terrace, Adelaide’s picturesque cultural boulevard and home to leading universities, University of Adelaide and UniSA as well as the Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australian Museum and the State Library.
“Renewal SA recognises the benefits of incorporating liveability and wellbeing in our developments and this is very much front of mind in planning and delivering Lot Fourteen.”
“We are working to achieve Australia’s first WELL Community Standard pilot certification to promote individual and community wellbeing by creating a thoughtfully designed environment with flexible work spaces, opportunities for planned and incidental exercise and making social connections as well as other initiatives,” Richard said.
“It is also being developed as an environmentally sustainable community with the aim of achieving a 6 Star Green Star Communities certification for world leadership in sustainability from the Green Building Council of Australia. In addition, every building in the development will seek a 6 Star Green Star rating for its design and construction.”
Creating Liveable Cities in Australia is the first ‘baseline’ measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals and represents the culmination of five years of research: