Living liveable? RESIDE's evaluation of the “Liveable Neighborhoods” planning policy on the health supportive behaviors and wellbeing of residents in Perth, Western Australia

Paula Hooper, Sarah Foster, Fiona Bull, Matthew Knuiman, Hayley Christian, Anna Timperio, Lisa Wood, Gina Trapp, Bryan Boruff, Jacinta Francis, Cecily Strange, Hannah Badland, Lucy Gunn, Ryan Falconer, Vincent Learnihan, Gavin McCormack, Takemi Sugiyama, Billie Giles-Corti

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Abstract

Background: The RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) project is a unique longitudinal natural experiment designed to evaluate the health impacts of the “Liveable Neighbourhoods” planning policy, which was introduced by the Western Australian government to create more walkable suburbs. Objectives: To summarize the RESIDE evidence of the impact of the planning policy on a range of health-supportive behaviours and wellbeing outcomes and to assess the consistency and direction of the estimates of associations. Methods: An audit of 26 RESIDE research papers (from 2003 to 2012) identified the number of positive associations (statistically significant and consistent with policy expectations), negative associations (statistically significant and inconsistent with policy expectations), and null findings from multiple-exposure models between objective and perceived measures of 20 policy design requirements and 13 health-supportive behaviors and wellbeing outcomes. Results: In total 332 eligible estimates of associations (n = 257 objective measures and n = 75 perceived measures) were identified. Positively significant findings were detected for: 57% of walking estimates with objectively measured policy design features (negative = 3%; null = 40%) (n = 115) and 54% perceived measures (negative = 0%; null = 33%) (n = 27); 42% of sense of community estimates with objectively measured of policy design features (negative = 8%; null = 50%) (n = 12) and 61% perceived measures (negative = 8%; null = 31%) (n = 13); 39% of safety or crime-related estimates with objectively measured of policy design features (negative = 22%; null = 39%) (n = 28) and 100% perceived measures (n = 7). All (n = 4) estimates for mental health outcomes with objectively measured policy-related design features were positively significant. Conclusions: The synthesis of findings suggests that new suburban communities built in accordance with the “Liveable Neighbourhoods” policy have the potential to encourage health supportive behaviors and wellbeing outcomes including transport and recreation walking, and to create neighborhoods with a stronger sense of community where residents may feel safer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100538
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume10
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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