City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture


Healthy Built Environments

The Healthy Built Environments Program promotes the creation of built environments that support people being healthy in their everyday lives. The Program’s vision is that neighbourhoods, towns and cities will be planned, designed, developed and managed to promote and protect health for all people.

As Australia, along with the rest of the world, faces increasing health costs from rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, health and built environment professionals are seeking to influence the design of cities to make them more supportive of healthy ways of living. Research clearly demonstrates strong links between modern epidemics and the way of life in cities. Car-dominated transport, reduced opportunities for exercise, increased fast food availability and lack of social connection are all implicated. Increasingly the health sector is focusing on prevention and to be effective, health professionals need to work in collaboration with other professional groups, such as those from the built environment.

Healthy Built Environments aims to revitalise the relationship between the built environment and health professions so that together we can create built environments that support people being healthy in their everyday lives. This program builds on the work of the Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) , commenced through funding from NSW Health in 2010. This initiative has had major legislative and policy impact, together with significant influence on progressing professional practice and education in healthy planning.

The Program is extending existing international linkages and continues to explore new funding opportunities at all levels of government and in the private sector.


Healthy Built Environments research is closely linked to a number of courses within UNSW Built Environment at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  The following courses are taught by staff who leverage considerable research experience into delivering to students the most up to date knowledge relevant to today’s changing urban landscape.


Current Projects

Completed Projects