Healthy Communities

Subject 705-637 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hour workshops
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: Admission to a Masters program in the Faculty or permission of the coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Carolyn Whitzman
Subject Overview:

In recent years, there has been a greatly increased interest in the impacts of the built environment on health and wellbeing. At present, spatial inequalities in regards to opportunities for physical activity, access to work and employment, affordable housing, social services, and healthy food results in a greater burden of disease for particular social groups and in particular geographic areas. Many of the health problems in cities today, including cardio-vascular disease, violence, and depression, are linked to poor residential and recreational environments, lack of access to jobs and social services, social isolation, and low social cohesion. Planners, designers, and policy makers influence physical, social, natural, cultural, and economic environments. They therefore have a key role in ‘planning health in’, rather than ‘planning health out’, of communities.

This subject will provide a local and international background into current policies and practices related to pursuing health and well-being objectives in the built environment. It will cover: the influence of planning over key health determinants, international good practice such as Healthy City initiatives, the current legislative framework including Environments for Health, and assessing existing sites and development proposals for health and safety concerns.

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Understanding the changing nature of public health issues, and their relationship with the built environment;
  • Understanding variations in the needs of different social, economic, and cultural groups in ‘the public’, to which planning interventions respond.
  • Relating the concepts of healthy urban planning to current policy initiatives at the local, state, or national level.
  • Describing and critically analyze the integration of Council Plans, Municipal Strategic Statements and Municipal Public Health plans in local governments across Victoria
  • Analyzing planning proposals, using health assessment tools
  • Making recommendations on improving existing environments, using health assessment tools.
Assessment: Three 1,000 word practice-based assignments with short oral presentation (25% each); 2,000 word reflective essay (25%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Readings compiled by the coordinator.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject students should be able to:
  1. Describe the changing nature of public health issues, and their relationship with the built environment.
  2. Understand variations in the needs of different social, economic and cultural groups in 'the public', to which health planning interventions respond.
  3. Use concepts and theories in a sophisticated fashion to guide analysis in health planning.
  4. Work in a team to design and implement a complex research project, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, about health planning in the real world context.
  5. Present the findings of your group research in a clear and effective manner.
  6. Reflect on what you have learned through the group project, and be able to apply these lessons to future work.

Related Course(s): Master of Architecture(by Coursework)
Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Planning and Design (Coursework)
Master of Public Health
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Planning
Master of Urban Planning
Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design

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