​Healthy Placemaking


Healthy PlacemakingWe all know that having a nutritious diet and staying active can help us stay healthy. But did you know, where we live, how our neighbourhoods are designed, can also impact on our health and well being?

Healthy Built Environments has been a growing field of research. We now have a lot more scientific research to help us design healthier neighbourhoods and cities for people to live, work and play.

​What Makes a Healthy Place?

Check out the following factsheets from www.healthyactivebydesign.com.au to see the elements that contribute to healthy placemaking:


  • A network of walkable, appealing and public open spaces helps meet a community’s recreational, play and social needs.
  • Public use of open spaces can be improved by ensuring that they are easily accessible to, and by, all members of the community.
  • Open space designs that respond to their surrounds can enable a strong connection to the community and the environment.

Public Open Space Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Meadowbank Skate Park - City of Ryde
Minadarie Park - Lane Cove Council
Lindfield Village Green - Ku-ring-gai Council


  • Healthy Active by Design - Movement NetworksMovement networks facilitate safe and convenient travel within neighbourhoods. This should connect walking, cycling and public transport routes and links them to a range of destinations.
  • Movement can be enhanced through the provision of safe, connected, convenient, continuous, easily navigated and attractive links.
  • The inclusion of safe, functional and highly visible infrastructure (eg. bike racks, drinking fountains, change rooms and lockers, shade/shelter, seating, lighting) encourages a range of travel options

Movement Networks Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Coast Walk - Northern Beaches
Ryde Riverwalk - City of Ryde
B-Line - Northern Beaches


  • Compact mixed-use neighbourhoods with a variety of destinations, facilities and focal points create opportunities for healthy and active living during the day and at night.
  • An interesting choice of local destinations encourages neighbourhood walkability and fosters residents’ physical activity and social connections.

Destinations Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Crows Nest Town Centre - NorthSydneyCouncil
Dee Why Town Centre - Northern Beaches Council


  • Co-located and integrated facilities such as schools, community centres, libraries and sporting amenities, maximise community interaction and efficiency of travel networks. They also enhance service provision in an area and promote passive surveillance, which encourages physical activity.
  • Facilities that enable multiple uses may better serve the community and encourage greater use, which can provide health, socio-economic and economic benefits to the community.

Community Facilities Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Waitara Precinct - Hornsby Shire Council
The Concourse - Willoughby Council


  • Well-designed buildings and sites that specifically support health, including healthy food access and increased levels of physical activity (incidental or deliberate), can improve health outcomes for the community.
  • The provision of specific services and facilities within a building, and the overall design of the building, can encourage a healthier lifestyle. Facilities such as gymnasiums, exercise classes, end-of-trip facilities and shade/shelter can promote physical activity.
  • Incidental physical activity can be encouraged through a well-designed layout that supports movement and social interactions.

Buildings Fact Sheet 


Northern Sydney Examples:
Balgowlah Stockland - Northern Beaches (YouTube)


  • Providing opportunities for interaction, preserving places of interest, using local building materials, highlighting neighbourhood stories and history, meeting the community’s needs and responding to the local climate are all ways of developing a sense of place.
  • Understanding the built and cultural heritage of a place can provide insights for designs that strengthen ties to the community.
  • Encouraging both current and future communities to participate in design and development decisions contributes to a sense of place and builds ownership and respect.

Sense of Place Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Public Art Trail - North Sydney Council
The Coal Loader - North Sydney Council


  • Providing choice, through various housing and occupancy types, meets the dwelling needs of a diverse community and helps create active and vibrant places.
  • A mix of dwelling types can increase density and attract a broad demographic, creating a resilient neighbourhood that caters for a diverse range of household structures, ages and tenures.
  • The design of a dwelling can have a positive influence on its surroundings and inhabitants. It can lead to safer and more engaged communities – and healthier lifestyles.

Housing Diversity Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Willoughby Local centres and Housing Strategy


  • Planning for healthy food requires effective planning and design of food environments, retail and promotion, food production space, transport infrastructure and ensuring healthy food outlets are both available and accessible to community residents.
  • Activity centres that provide fresh and healthy food opportunities can encourage healthier diets. Similarly, providing space for the production of healthy food promotes healthier food intake.

Healthy Food Factsheet


Northern Sydney Examples:

Turramurra Lookout Garden - Ku-ring-gai
Manly Vale Community Garden - Northern Beaches
Northside Produce Markets - North Sydney
Mosman Community Gardening

​Is My Neighbourhood a Healthy Place?

Use our simple checklist to see how healthy your neighbourhood is. The more ticks you are able to give the healthier your neighbourhood.

Any items left un-ticked can be used to develop actions to work on!

Checklist: Is My Neighbourhood a Healthy Place

​How to get Involved

  1. Subscribe to your local council’s updates and newsletters.
  2. Check the 'Have your say' page on your council's website. Respond to key issues in your community via surveys, consultations or written submissions.
  3. Join a community action group.
  4. Find examples of healthy places you would like to see and share them with council and other planning organisations.

Check out recent submissions Health Promotion has made on local planning and development projects: