Healthy Communities

Subject ABPL90022 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours: 1x 3 hours of workshop per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours.
Prerequisites: Admission to a Melbourne School of Design graduate program, the Master of Environments, the Master of Public Health or written approval from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None specified
Recommended Background Knowledge: None specified
Non Allowed Subjects: None specified
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

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 access to jobs, 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 obesity, violence, and depression, are linked to poor residential and recreational environments, lack of access to jobs and social services, and low social cohesion. Urban planners 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 as a central part of urban planning work. It will cover: the influence of planning over key health determinants, international good practice, the current legislative framework including Environments for Health, and Health Impact Assessment. A strong skills focus will ensure that planners, designers and other professionals are able to assess existing sites, plans, and policies from a health perspective.


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

  • Describe the changing nature of public health issues, and their relationship with the built environment;
  • Understand variations in the needs of different social, economic, and cultural groups in ‘the public’, to which health planning interventions respond.
  • Analyze a planning proposal and an existing site, using health assessment tools
  • Describe and critically analyze the integration of Council Plans, Municipal Strategic Statements and Municipal Public Health plans in local governments across Victoria
  • Relate the concepts of healthy urban planning to current policy initiatives at the local, state, or national level.
  • Reflect on what you have learned through the subject, and be able to apply these lessons to future work.
  • Oral and written policy analysis based on Environments for Health (25%),
  • oral and written health and safety audit of an area (25%),
  • oral and written health impact assessment of a new plan (25%),
  • reflective essay (25%).

Total written work: 5000 words.

Prescribed Texts: Subject Reader
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Notes: This subject requires high level writing and analysis skills and may not be appropriate for a student commencing their first semester of study.
Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Planning
Master of Urban Planning
Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design

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