Healthy Neighborhood Design. Is Path Dependency Holding us Back?
Australia is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. We are the fifth fattest nation on earth and the rate of overweight and obesity has grown significantly in the past 30 years. Overweight and obesity are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. This thesis will evaluate the design of master planned communities in South East Queensland to determine their the impact on overweight and obesity, looking at the external environmental factors that may influence the amount of physical activity individuals participate in as well as how the design of these planned communities influence access to healthy food options.
Master planned communities will be analysed to seek or clarify what design elements may impact the incidence of obesity in these communities. Consideration will be given to current planning controls in these suburbs such as zoning, density, mixed use development and access to green space, network design (including permeability), access to public and active transport and urban design. This research will provide new evidence on how master-planned communities may or may not contribute towards the obesity epidemic and recommendations will be developed for the design of future master-planned communities to improve the health outcomes of the community.