Policy and spatial indicators for healthy and sustinable cities

The theoretical framework for our policy and spatial indicators for healthy and sustainable cities was outlined in the Lancet Global Health Series on Urban Design, Transport and Planning.

‘The 11 Ds’ framework

Giles-Corti, B. et al. (2022). Creating healthy and sustainable cities: what gets measured, gets done. The Lancet Global Health, May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00070-5


Policy indicator analysis

Our policy checklist tool has now been updated to support the 1000 Cities Challenge.

For more information on the concepts underlying the tool, see:

Lowe, M. et al. (2022). City planning policies to support health and sustainability: an international comparison of policy indicators for 25 cities. The Lancet Global Health, May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00069-9

Threshold analysis

Cerin, E. et al. (2022). Determining thresholds for spatial urban design and transport features to create healthy and sustainable cities: findings from the IPEN Adult study. The Lancet Global Health, Accepted May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00068-7

Spatial indicator analysis

Our open source Global Healthy and Sustainable City Indicators software supports users to calculate and report on spatial and policy indicators for healthy and sustainable cities.

See the directions on Analysis and Reporting for more details.

The software was developed by the Global Healthy and Sustainable City Indicators Collaboration team, an international partnership of researchers and practitioners, extending methods developed by the Healthy Liveable Cities Lab at RMIT University and incorporating functionality from the OSMnx tool developed by Geoff Boeing.

Our framework is described in:

Liu S, Higgs C, Arundel J, Boeing G, Cerdera N, Moctezuma D, Cerin E, Adlakha D, Lowe M, Giles-Corti B (2022) A Generalized Framework for Measuring Pedestrian Accessibility around the World Using Open Data. Geographical Analysis. 54(3):559-582. https://doi.org/10.1111/gean.12290

The tool was designed to be used for a 25-city comparative analysis, published as:

Boeing G, Higgs C, Liu S, Giles-Corti B, Sallis JF, Cerin E, et al. (2022) Using open data and open-source software to develop spatial indicators of urban design and transport features for achieving healthy and sustainable cities. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e907–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00072-9

The theory and process of scaling up residential analysis of liveability and sustainability indicators for diverse urban contexts and audiences is the topic of Carl Higgs’ PhD research. The following article details the challenges and lessons learned through scaling a spatial urban indicators research programme from Melbourne, Australia, to Australia’s capital and regional cities, to cities in diverse contexts internationally:

Higgs, C. et al. (2022) ‘Policy-Relevant Spatial Indicators of Urban Liveability And Sustainability: Scaling From Local to Global’, Urban Policy and Research, 40(4). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/08111146.2022.2076215.

Call to action

Giles-Corti, Bet al. (2022). What next? Expanding our view of city planning and global health, and implementing and monitoring evidence-informed policy. The Lancet Global Health, May 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(22)00066-3

An infographic summarizing the key findings of the 2022 series of urban planning, transport and health in The Lancet Global Health is available here.