What’s in it for you and your community?

There is strong national and international evidence that the built environment can help people to develop and maintain healthier lifestyles. (1) Councils can play a role in shaping the built environment through their urban planning processes, provision and maintenance of infrastructure and facilities in their communities, and also through their leadership power to bring together various agencies and community groups to create environments that support active and healthy living.

Creating environments that support active and healthy living can benefit Queensland communities in many ways, such as:

  • increased liveability of the local government area
  • improved open spaces, physical infrastructure and community facilities
  • protection of the local habitat and biodiversity through the provision of parks, open space, linked green corridors and natural environments
  • improved perception of community safety through an increased presence of people in public spaces
  • strengthened inter-governmental and community partnerships
  • benefits to tourism through infrastructure such as walking trails
  • benefits to local economy through buying local produce and accessing local businesses
  • improved air quality and safety from reduced vehicle congestion around key activity centres and higher levels of cycling and walking
  • contributing to sustainable communities through the reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled and the carbon footprint
  • a legacy of improved community health, social inclusion and quality of life. (2)

Creating local environments that support active and healthy living can help achieve other council objectives, such as:

  • recognition as a progressive and responsive organisation that leads the way in this field
  • positive public relations opportunities
  • enhancing council’s role as a proactive leader within the community.
 

References:

  1. Heath, G.W., Brownson, R.C., Kruger, J., Miles, R., Powell, K.E., Ramsey, L.T., Task Force on Community Preventive Services 2006, ‘The Effectiveness of Urban Design and Land Use and Transport Policies and Practices to Increase Physical Activity: A Systematic Review’. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, vol. 3, supp. 1, s55-s76.
  2. Schmid, T.L., Pratt, M., Witmer, L. 2006, ‘A framework for physical activity policy research’, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, vol. 3, s20-s29.