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Cities are complex urban systems. They’re ever changing. And you have a huge opportunity, as a designer, as a policy maker, as a city planner to influence the health and well-being of all of the residents that you are now planning or designing or making decisions for. I’m so glad you’re here to enjoy this learning journey. And I hope that you’re able to take many of the tools that we introduce and apply them in your professional practise. I’m associate Professor Melanie Davern. And I hope you can join me and my colleague Associate Professor Andrew Butt to learn more about these many, many interesting factors. These are really global problems. We are facing them in cities across the world.
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We’re trying to understand how do we build, how do we urbanise, but how do we do it in a way that’s also going to influence in a positive way the health and well-being of the people who live in these cities. You have an amazing opportunity to take these skills, your new learning, and to really create a difference in your community. That’s exactly why I’m involved in this sort of research and also find passion in being able to share it with people like yourselves. This is also an opportunity for you to meet new colleagues. Your peers involved in this course will also have many great experiences and expertise to share.
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So think also about the ways that you can connect with others. It’s not just a learning experience for you, but a learning experience that we share together. We’re going to cover a lot of interesting content over the next five weeks. You’ll start with understanding, what are the key ingredients of what makes a healthy and a livable city? What are the social determinants of health? How can you use indicators and data to help in evaluation and measurement of these cities? How can you use economic evaluation in your work and work with your colleagues? How can you use qualitative data, things that are not so easy to measure and not so easy to cost?
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And importantly, how can you implement and apply this knowledge? You’ve also got a great opportunity of not just learning but applying this into your case study practise so you can take the learning that you have and apply it to somewhere you know to really make sure you understand that content and perhaps shift the way you think about that current site that you know so well. So I think it’s a great way of taking some new knowledge, some new tools, combining it with a case study example and a real pilot learning experience for you. This week, we’re going to start with looking at the ingredients for a healthy, livable and sustainable city.
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How do you create those cities and how do you make it an equitable city so it’s not just to those who can afford to live in good areas, but actually, it’s a healthy and livable city for all? Equity is really important in this factor, because if we’re thinking about cities, it’s very easy to only provide for those who are actually asking for it. But what about those who don’t understand? These are really important concepts that also connect to public health. So we really want to make those connections between design and public health for you. We’re going to be looking at cities around the world, including yours. So be prepared.
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We’re going to challenge your thinking, we’re going to teach you some new tools, and we hope you can take that and apply it in your learning and practise to really create some impact. Thank you for joining us.

This course will take you on a deep dive into the key steps for transforming cities into mobility driven liveable communities that we can measure, assess, identify and evaluate.

Creating healthy, liveable and sustainable cities is a major challenge in the face of population growth, social inequalities, traffic congestion, increases in non-communicable diseases and climate change. Accommodating all these issues presents infrastructure challenges, but also opportunities to create liveable places where people can be active and healthy.

Human mobility within cities is recognised as a key area of policy intervention to achieve these goals. The development of healthy cities requires active engagement of private, public and societal actors. City officials and urban mobility professionals play a critical role in ensuring that policies and interventions are equitable and promote citizen health and wellbeing.

Welcome to this course about transitioning to healthy cities through mobility-related interventions.

Learning outcomes

The big question we’ll be exploring in this course is: ‘How can we transition to healthy cities through mobility-related interventions in the built environment?’ You will learn how to:

  • Assess new liveability frameworks linked to the social determinants of health, involving explicit consideration of health, equity, sustainability and quality of life.
  • Apply these frameworks through indicators to support evidence-based decision-making in policy and programs.
  • Calculate interventions and economic benefits associated with mobility and health.
  • Create considerations to multiple benefits of safety, social connection and belonging, cultural expression and environmental health.
  • Explain qualitative indicators to measure grounded and diverse perspectives associated with a locality.
  • Explore on-ground implementation through specific examples and encouraging collaboration and community engagement in co-design.

Your educators

Andrew Butt, Associate Professor in Sustainability and Urban Planning in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies and the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

Melanie Davern, Associate Professor within the Health, Place & Society group in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

Our educators are from RMIT University. As well as being based in Melbourne, Australia, RMIT has international campuses in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Barcelona. RMIT specialises in cities, including various aspects of urban design and planning.

Your task: icebreaker

Please introduce yourself by telling us a bit about yourself in the Padlet below. Please:

  1. Open Padlet
  2. On the map in Padlet locate the city where you live or your nearest city by placing a pin. Please only share the metro city, and not a street location or similar.
  3. Add a photo of the city where you live or your nearest city. Extra credit for adding a photo of yourself in your city location!
  4. Tell us your name and something about yourself such as a hobby
  5. Comment on and like some of the other posts.

See this guide for more information and help with using Padlet if needed.

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Urban Mobility for Liveability

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