An aerial view of city streets, with buildings, cars and green trees

Expanding cities: how urban planning can help improve our health

Join our panel of experts in urban planning and public health policy to discuss the latest research, and examine the health impacts of Sydney's changing city structure.

There is a renewed appreciation of the importance of 'place' in health promotion and disease prevention. We know that the way cities are planned, built and managed influences human health.

Car-dominated transport, reduced opportunities for physical activity and lack of social connection all impact on our health.

Join us to discuss how concerns for human health can become explicit matters for consideration in urban planning policy systems, and explore the opportunity for health professionals to contribute to the creation of built environments which improve the health of our communities.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on Monday 12 March 2018. There is no podcast for this event.


  • Lucy Turnbull AO, Commissioner for Greater Sydney
    Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist with a longstanding interest in cities, and technological and social innovation. She chaired the Committee for Sydney from 2012 to 2015. In 2015 she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, tasked by the NSW state government to assist in delivering strong and effective strategic planning for the whole of metropolitan Sydney.Mrs Turnbull was the first female Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney from 2003-4 and in 2011 she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community, local government and business. In 2012 Mrs Turnbull was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business by the University of NSW, and in 2016 was appointed Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Built Environment, University of NSW. In 2017 Mrs Turnbull was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western Sydney University which she received for her substantial and sustained service and contribution to the University and the Greater Western Sydney region.
  • Megan Whittaker, Manager for Social Outcomes, City of Parramatta
    Megan Whittaker is the Manager Social Outcomes with the City of Parramatta Council. Her team helps Council and others to plan a socially sustainable and liveable City by harnessing the opportunities of growth in Parramatta so all people can thrive and reach their full potential. Her team is responsible for strategic planning, social policy, strategic partnerships, providing formal advice on urban renewal and infrastructure projects, undertaking community needs analysis and preparing current and forecast demographics. Megan qualified as an occupational therapist and has experience in direct service delivery to clients. She has significant experience managing information and program delivery in health and community focused not for profit organisations and most recently 10 years of experience working in local government.
  • Jennifer Kent, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney
    Dr Jennifer Kent is a University of Sydney Research Fellow in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Sydney. Jennifer’s research interests are at the intersections between urban planning, transport and human health and she publishes regularly in high ranking scholarly journals. Her work has been used to inform policy development in NSW and Australia, including Sydney's most recent metropolitan strategy – A Plan for Growing Sydney. Prior to commencing a career in academia she worked as a town planner in NSW in both local government and as a consultant.
  • Patrick Harris, Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Centre for Health Policy
    Patrick Harris is a senior research fellow and National Health and Medical Research Centre fellow at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests include health and health equity as cross cutting public policy issues, specifically within urban and regional planning and infrastructure, and the use of impact assessment to improve public health. He has over 85 publications across his career including 40 journal articles. He has been chief investigator in research funding of over Aus$4 million, and has regularly consulted for and collaborates with government and non-government agencies including the World Health Organisation.
  • MC: David Borger, Director, Western Sydney Business Chamber
    David was appointed by the Chamber in 2012 as inaugural Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber. David led a campaign in support of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek including establishing the Western Sydney Airport Alliance. He has collaborated with chief executive officers, managing partners and Vice Chancellors to support campaigns like the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, the Westmead and Liverpool Innovation Districts, Sydney Olympic Park, Parramatta Light Rail and West Metro. Prior to this, he served in the NSW Labor Government as the Minister for Roads, Minister assisting the Minister for Transport and Roads, Minister for Housing, as well as Minister for Western Sydney. David has also worked as an Urban Planner and adviser to the Minister for Planning. He is currently a Director of Think Planners; and serves as a non-executive director on the boards of the Sydney Festival, Evolve Housing, and the Westmead Medical Research Foundation as well as a member of the advisory board of the Southern Cross Group.

Sign up for our newsletter

Each month we'll send you details about upcoming events, and a selection of podcasts.

You might also like