Physical activity-related health and economic benefits of building walkable neighbourhoods: a modelled comparison between brownfield and greenfield developments, Feb 2019

By Belén Zapata-Diomedi, Claire Boulangé, Billie Giles-Corti, Kath Phelan, Simon Washington, J. Lennert Veerman and Lucy Dubrelle Gunn

Background

A consensus is emerging in the literature that urban form can impact health by either facilitating or deterring physical activity (PA). However, there is a lack of evidence measuring population health and the economic benefits relating to alternative urban forms. We examined the issue of housing people within two distinct types of urban development forms: a medium-density brownfield development in an established area with existing amenities (e.g. daily living destinations, transit), and a low-density suburban greenfield development. We predicted the health and economic benefits of a brownfield development compared with a greenfield development through their influence on PA.

Methods

We combined a new Walkability Planning Support System (Walkability PSS) with a quantitative health impact assessment model. We used the Walkability PSS to estimate the probability of residents’ transport walking, based on their exposure to urban form in the brownfield and greenfield developments. We developed the underlying algorithms of the Walkability PSS using multi-level multivariate logistic regression analysis based on self-reported data for transport walking from the Victorian Integrated Survey of Transport and Activity 2009–10 and objectively measured urban form in the developments. We derived the difference in transport walking minutes per week based on the probability of transport walking in each of the developments and the average transport walking time per week among those who reported any transport walking. We then used the well-established method of the proportional multi-cohort multi-state life table model to translate the difference in transport walking minutes per week into health and economic benefits.

Results

If adult residents living in the greenfield neighbourhood were instead exposed to the urban development form observed in a brownfield neighbourhood, the incidence and mortality of physical inactivity-related chronic diseases would decrease. Over the life course of the exposed population (21,000), we estimated 1600 health-adjusted life years gained and economic benefits of A$94 million.

Discussion

Our findings indicate that planning policies that create walkable neighbourhoods with access to shops, services and public transport will lead to substantial health and economic benefits associated with reduced incidence of physical inactivity related diseases and premature death.

Source: https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/...

Meeting the needs of the next generation of home buyers and renters, Dec 2018

To address the housing shortage and ensure that the housing stock deficit is erased the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes every year until 2031. As such, the residential construction sector is under increasing pressure to build the volume of homes the country so desperately needs, which will require not only meeting but exceeding the Government’s current pledge to build 300,000 new homes annually. It’s also critical that these homes meet the needs and demands of future homeowners. 

To gain insight into this, Eurocell surveyed 1,000 25-40-year old renters and home owners to investigate their views on the subject. Respondents were asked questions on a wide range of issues including their home ownership prospects, attitudes towards sustainability credentials in future homes, views on building design, the impact of homes on their wellbeing, as well as their views on how homes could be made more affordable. Following this, Eurocell asked experts from Simpson Haugh, Hawkins Brown, BDP and The High Street Group to analyse the findings and provide insight into the trends that they are currently seeing in the market. 

Insight to action: the future of the professional services industry, 2018

Outline

The professional services sector is in a state of flux. While globally the sector continues to grow, competition has intensified and margins have gotten tighter. Suppliers no longer have the monopoly on specialized knowledge they once had and corporate buyers want “more for less”. Emerging technologies are upending traditional delivery models and signal more disruption to come.

To explore these issues we surveyed 700 senior decision-makers from professional services companies around the world, distilling the results in our latest report Insight to action: the future of the professional services industry. Most respondents said they felt concerned by this more challenging business environment and unprepared for the future.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Good design: it all adds up, RIBA, 2011

Outline

What is the value of architecture? Is it worth the expense? Is design dispensable?

As expenditure on construction schemes of all kinds, from schools to hospitals to regeneration projects, comes under the microscope, we hear these questions more and more.

Maybe design has become synonymous with luxury and the high street, and its role in making ordinary objects desirable and expensive has overshadowed that of making things and places safe, understandable, durable, energy-efficient and affordable.

The evidence assembled here counters the argument that design is a luxury in the production of the built environment, especially in straitened times.

What this report brings to light is the true value of good architecture. Design that resolves problems and answers needs will pay for itself over a building’s lifetime. Good architecture has its price. But bad architecture – or no architecture at all – will cost you more.

We summarise the research assessing the value of good design; include case studies that provide the evidence of good practice; and show how clients and those who live and work in a building can get the most out of it when it is created together with an architect.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design 

Buildings and spaces: why design matters, CABE, 2005

Outline

This brochure examines the impact of good design on a range of measures including housing, hospitals, schools, community facilities, urban design and the economy. It references it’s assertions with a bibliography containing links to further research. 

Recommended by: 

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Good design: the fundamentals

Outline

We all use the built environment – buildings, streets, parks and public spaces – every day.

If design and management is done well, places can be treasured. If not, they can be alienating and dysfunctional.

This essay from the Design Council Cabe archive was written by former CEO Richard Simmons. Still as relevant today as when it was first published, this guide convincingly argues why architecture and urban design are fundamental cultural assets.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

The impact of office design on business performance, CABE, 2005

Outline

This study examines the ways in which office accommodation can create economic and social value for businesses.

Commissioned by CABE and the BCO, it reviews the academic and scientific literature that has attempted to assess the relationship between workplace design and business performance over the last century.

it includes:

  • The results of research into the relationship between workplace design and business performance.

  • A guide to our research methods and the academic sources we reviewed.

Recommended by: 

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Health and wellbeing in homes, UKGBC, 016

Outline

Our home, both the location and the physical building itself, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, to how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. If we want to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, there can hardly be a more important place to start than the home: it is where most people spend most of their life.
This report is about beginning a concerted effort to shift the market towards a focus on the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy the homes we build and retrofit. It is aimed at all those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, and is focused on general needs homes in the UK housing sector. We aim to gather and distil the most compelling evidence and advice about building and neighbourhood design features which can enhance the health and wellbeing of residents.
The report also explores the ‘value’ case for action. Through a combination of a literature review, dialogue with housing providers and dedicated consumer research undertaken by one of our task group members, Saint-Gobain, we demonstrate that there is a compelling business case for the industry to focus on health and wellbeing in residential property.
Since the launch of the report, UKGBC has worked with Arup experts to produce three Technical Papers to provide more detailed guidance for project teams on specific issues related to health and wellbeing in homes.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design

Galaxy poll: The Benefits of Design, 2016

Outline

This online market research was conducted by Galaxy on behalf of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, among members of a permission based panel between Wednesday 24 June and Monday 29 June 2015.

Interviews were conducted among 2593 Australians aged 18-64 years across Australia. 500 interviews were conducted across each of the five states, to determine community attitudes and perceptions bout deign value.

Recommended by:

Rachael Bernstone of Sounds Like Design