Back to articles

How healthy is your suburb?


Access to fresh food, tree cover and walkability were some of the factors examined in the recent study with the goal to determine Brisbane’s healthiest suburbs, as published on Domain’s website this week.

Other things considered in the study included distance to and the capacity of hospitals, access to allied and community healthcare, the density of liquor and fast food stores in an area, as well as how much residents volunteered within their community.

One of the commentators on the issue was our Senior Associate Town Planner, Brad Jones who stressed the importance of supporting local services such as local shops and cafes in order to create more inviting and walkable neighbourhoods across the city, not just confined to the inner suburbs.

“I’m not surprised the inner suburbs would rate high in this study,” said Brad, “as they will typically have much higher rate of open space provision and cycle routes, and a higher dwelling density to pay for that infrastructure which supports the density.” 

“These inner suburb residents will have a much greater propensity to actively commute to work as it’s simply not practical if you live too far from work regardless of the amount of money spent on cycle lanes or end of trip facilities. In general, the impediment to active commuting is quite high.  Many people need to pick up and drop off children, and as someone who has taught over 100 adult beginner cyclist it’s absolutely the case that people generally feel unsafe and inexperienced to negotiate most of the travel routes around Brisbane. Ultimately active transport becomes a privilege to the few who have the skill, location and time to make it work for them.”

This is obviously a very pertinent issue Australia wide at the moment, as all our cities continue to grow and develop.  Domain’s article published on Tuesday morning received media attention straight away as Brad was again interviewed later that afternoon by Channel 7 News.

In the designs of our communities always try to promote travel by means other than cars where practical and beneficial, however we must be cognisant of doing this thoughtfully as otherwise we are burdening suburbs with costly infrastructure which isn’t used to an acceptable level.

Read the full Domain article here and view the Channel 7 News story below.