The 2019 Festival of Urbanism kicks off in Melbourne and Sydney on 2 September with a series of engaging events focussing on the important subject of the impact of housing and city planning on health.

Through engaging talks, film screenings, showcases and a walking tour among others, the festival aims to address the once disconnected relationship between urban planning and public health.

The Festival of Urbanism 2019: Cities, housing and health is organised by the Henry Holloran Trust with the assistance of the University of Sydney - School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Monash Art Design & Architecture, and the Charles Perkins Centre.

Visiting scholars and experts will explore the connection between the built environment and its impact on contemporary health and wellbeing through public talks, exhibitions and symposiums.

“In Australia, collaboration between built environment and health professionals is increasing, but there is still a long way to go,” says professor Peter Phibbs, chair of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney. He is also a member of the World Health Organisation’s working group, which is preparing a set of guidelines on the connections between housing and health.

While the current focus is on the quality of building infrastructure, particularly in the apartment sector, Phibbs underlines the importance of the design and maintenance of housing and urban planning.

“Even people who think a lot about their health often don’t realise that their housing can have an important impact on their wellbeing, such as in the instance of childhood asthma,” he says.

“City planning can have a marked impact on such things as our exercise levels which are an important element of healthy ageing, and also dealing with the heating of our cities through the effects of climate change.”

Festival of Urbanism 2019 event highlights

Sydney Walking Tour - Mascot Town Centre: Our urban future?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Tour guides Deena Ridenour, senior lecturer urban design and professor Peter Phibbs will take participants to one of Sydney’s earliest transit-oriented development (TOD) model, Mascot Town Centre, for lessons on creating better urban places.

CPC lunchtime talk: Healthy spaces, healthy ageing

Saturday, September 9, 2019

Being held at the Charles Perkins Centre Research and Education Hub (D17), the talk will explore how to design spaces to promote healthy ageing, and support the wellbeing of the elderly in Australia.

Henry Halloran Trust Research Showcase

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Two Henry Halloran Trust Incubators will present their work on citizen-led organising and Indigenous housing.

How to deal with troublemakers: Five lessons from stories around the world

Professor Kurt Iveson and Dr Amanda Tattersall, who have studied citizen-led organising work in cities across the world, will present a 10-minute overview of lessons observed, and how they can be applied to improve the urban planning process.

Policy success for whom? Defining policy success for Indigenous housing

Housing for Health Incubator researchers professor Paul Torzillo, professor Allan MacConnell and Dr Christen Cornell will address a series of rarely asked questions such as: What would policy success look like for Indigenous housing? Would it be good policy, effective processes, or successfully implemented programs? And on what grounds is policy success determined? ‘Good policy’ is good policy for whom?

Film screening and Q&A: The Eviction (Dir. Blue Lucine)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

This special screening of the film The Eviction charts the selling of public housing in the suburb of Millers Point and the eviction of its tenants.

The full program and details can be found here.