How does housing and city planning affect our health?

27 August 2019
The Festival of Urbanism 2019 explores the connection between the built environment and its impact on contemporary health and wellbeing.

A series of engaging events held during the festival will see visiting scholars and practitioners take part in public talks, exhibitions and symposiums.

The events - including a string of engaging talks, film screenings and showcases - aim to address the once disconnected relationship between urban planning and public health.

In Australia, collaboration between built environment and health professionals is increasing, but there is still a long way to go.
Professor Peter Phibbs, Chair of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Sydney

Professor Phibbs explains that although the current focus is on the quality of building infrastructure, particularly in the apartment sector, the design and maintenance of housing and urban planning is equally important. He is currently a member of the World Health Organisation’s working group which is preparing a set of guidelines on the connections between housing and health.

“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 said.

“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 highlights:

Sydney Walking Tour
Mascot Town Centre: Our urban future?

Can the transit-oriented development (TOD) model in Sydney deliver its promise for a healthier, more connected and livable urban life? By walking in the shoes of locals, this tour will experience the successes and challenges of one of Sydney’s first TOD’s, Mascot Town Centre. Lessons for creating better urban places will be investigated with tour guides Deena Ridenour, Senior Lecturer Urban Design and Professor Peter Phibbs.

CPC lunchtime talk: Healthy spaces, healthy ageing

As Australia is getting older, how do we design our spaces to promote healthy ageing?

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

Join us for a special screening of the film The Eviction, which charts the selling of public housing in the suburb of Millers Point and the eviction of its tenants.

Henry Halloran Trust Research Showcase

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

How would citizen-led organisation work in cities around the world?
Professor Kurt Iveson and Dr Amanda Tattersall have studied citizen-led organising work in cities across the world. Frequently those campaigns have involved positive and negative engagement with planners and consultation processes. This presentation provides a ten 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

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? Housing for Health Incubator researchers

Professor Paul Torzillo, Professor Allan MacConnell and Dr Christen Cornell will tackle these rarely asked questions, in the context of the larger and ongoing conundrum of why it is so hard to incorporate cyclical repairs and maintenance into infrastructure programs for Indigenous housing.

Festival events are popular so be quick to register. Full program and details can be found here.

For conversation updates follow the Festival on twitter @FestUrbanism @Sydney_Arch

The 2019 festival of Urbanism is brought to you 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.

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