Urban Consolidation and the Health of Australian Children

By Lou Wilson.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 25, 2014 $US5.00

The residents of Australia’s large, low-density cities have traditionally enjoyed good public health relative to the citizens of cities with higher dwelling densities in Europe and North America and this has especially been the case for children. Diseases such as rickets that are traditionally associated with poverty and poor urban planning have been absent from Australia until recently. Relatively good public health in Australia is associated with the private space afforded by lower density and unrestricted access to public parks, gardens, and recreational facilities. Planning for Australia’s major cities is currently focused on creating greater dwelling density to accommodate population growth. Densification is removing private space in the form of backyards but also public, community space. This article offers examples of urban consolidation in Australia and discusses the implications for child health.

Keywords: Urban Planning, Child Health, Dwelling Density, Urban Consolidation

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 5, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 400.896KB)).

Dr. Lou Wilson

Senior Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am an urban sociologist at the University of South Australia. I have research interests in sustainable communities, social inclusion/exclusion, social cohesion and social capital. I am currently working on a project that seeks to assess the effectiveness of public expenditure in reducing social exclusion. It seeks to develop innovative new forms of quantitative modelling using geographical information systems (GIS). I am also part of a research team that is developing a model to understand and address tensions between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban development and the implications for assessing sustainable development in urban areas.