Understanding how design impacts health

2 min
30 June 2016

Stockland believes in engaging and collaborating with residents to help them shape and improve the communities where they live. As Australia’s cities continue to evolve and new communities emerge, this has never been more important.

At Stockland’s Selandra Rise community, we have partnered with residents, government and industry groups over the last five years to study how design, built form and timing of delivery can contribute to health and wellbeing.

As a new residential community in Melbourne’s south east growth corridor, Selandra Rise was designed with a strong focus on encouraging community connections. Selandra Rise Community Place (a local community centre) was established temporarily in a display home as the first residents moved in, offering a range of educational and social activities, including a sustainable homes program. Other connection initiatives included a community centre website, community garden, neighbourhood BBQ facilities, children’s play areas in parks and a youth park.

The five year longitudinal study confirmed the importance of providing opportunities for community connections. The research showed that Selandra Rise residents were more satisfied with the opportunities to meet people (88%) compared to those living in their previous neighbourhoods (65%). The provision of good public transport links with job opportunities near affordable housing was also found to be crucial to improving the health and wellbeing of residential communities in outer suburban growth areas.

Kerry Balci, Development Manager at Stockland, highlighted that “the success of the research project was made possible through the partnership between Government, institutions and the private sector. The partnership was based on aligned goals, respect and a passion to make a difference.”

The study was funded by VicHealth and undertaken by RMIT in partnership with Stockland, Metropolitan Planning Authority, the City of Casey and the Planning Institute of Australia.

The research results will help with planning and design of future communities to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.