The NSW Government's land and property development organisation, Landcom, is partnering with the University of Technology, the University of Sydney and the University of Technology to look at potential planning measures to reduce heart disease, mental illness and Type 2 diabetes residents living in highly urbanised environments in a new study.

Landcom managing director and CEO Officer John Brogden says the study, Translating Evidence to Support Planning Strategies for Healthier, Higher Density Living would provide new knowledge and tools to address a significant gap in planning healthy higher density precincts.

“Landcom has been given the task by the NSW Government to improve housing affordability, supply and diversity, and deliver quality housing and communities that provide social and economic benefits to the people of NSW,” says Brogden.

“As Sydney’s population grows, the way we live is changing.  There is a lack of research in Australia and around the world on what is needed to ensure people can live healthy, sustainable lives in an increasingly urbanised environment.”

“There are a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to.  This research will help us learn how we can design our cities to benefit people’s health,” he says.

The project is being led by UTS associate professor Jason Prior, UNSW professor Susan Thompson, and Sydney University’s Dr Jennifer Kent.

“This collaboration provides a unique opportunity to understand how urban planning and design principles can be applied to high density developments within cities like Sydney to improve population health, and reduce their environmental impacts,” says Prior.

“Issues such as heat from built-up areas, through to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression will be explored as well as strategies to manage these.”

“The research findings will help policymakers and industry identify and implement proven health and wellbeing principles into their planning for urban developments,” he says.

The study will be funded through Landcom’s University Roundtable Research Program, and is expected to take about two and a half years to complete.