Designing cities to improve health and well-being: contributions from the HABITAT multilevel longitudinal study of Brisbane (Australia) neighbourhoods
Prof Gavin Turrell, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Tuesday 28 April 2015, 12.30pm-1.30
Large seminar room, Cambridge Institute for Public Health
About the talk
A central goal of the World Health Organization’s Healthy Cities Program is to create urban environments that promote the physical and mental health of people living in cities. Local governments play a key role in achieving this goal. However, they are increasingly being confronted by challenges to public health that arise from: an ageing population; climate change and adverse weather events; rising rates of overweight and obesity; increased rates of chronic disease; increased population growth and urbanisation; greater pressure on neighbourhood and city infrastructure and resources; declines in the use of active transport (e.g., walking and cycling); and social and economic inequalities in health. Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need to better understand these (and other) public health challenges, and to devise effective and cost-efficient ways of preventing or delaying them, and minimising their impacts and managing their effects when they occur. The HABITAT study, with its focus on the built and social environments of 200 Brisbane neighbourhoods, and the perceptions and behaviours of 11,000 residents surveyed on 6 occasions over 10 years (2007-2018), is well placed to make a useful contribution to addressing these public health challenges. The aim of this seminar is to provide an overview of the HABTAT study’s scope, design, and methods, and to present some of its key findings to date, highlighting those aspects of the project that are likely to be most relevant to local government planning and policy making.
About Prof Turrell
Professor Gavin Turrell is a Principal Research Fellow in the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia), and is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship (2006-2015). Gavin’s primary research interests are in social epidemiology, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health and health inequalities. His research is mainly population-based and examines how interrelations between neighbourhood- and individual-level factors influence health and related behaviours (e.g. physical activity, diet, tobacco) and risk factors (e.g. obesity).