Healthy Cities, Healthy People Event Recap

December 1st, 2022

Beautiful city views, delicious food, refreshing drinks and a dynamic group of 40+ professionals – the Healthy Cities, Healthy People networking event was a roaring success.

On Thursday 24th November, the Behaviour, Environment and Cognition Research Program (BECRP) hosted their first networking event. Held at the Daniel Mannix Building on ACU’s Melbourne Campus, the Healthy Cities, Healthy People Networking event was created with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) in mind, specifically SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 17 (Partnership for the goals).

The event, which took place in the evening, aimed to bring together both academic and non-academic stakeholders who can use the BECRP’s research to inform policy and practice related to the creation of healthy and sustainable urban environments.

The evening kicked off with a short welcome and introductory talk from the BECRP’s Program Leader Prof. Ester Cerin who highlighted the important link between sustainable cities and our health and showcased some of the vital work the BECRP is currently undertaking.

Attendees were given time during the evening to peruse the many research posters created by the BECRP highlighting some of their published work, and mingle with other professionals, creating new connections.

Roundtable discussions were also held during the evening. Attendees had previously chosen to take part in one of three roundtables (1) Active and Healthy Ageing (2) Active Transport and (3) Access to Public Transport. The roundtables aimed to explore the key locally relevant questions and issues related to each of the three topics. The discussion at each roundtable was lively and filled with a diverse array of insights.



The Active and Healthy Ageing Roundtable was chaired by Prof. Ester Cerin, Program leader of the BECRP at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. Social isolation, barriers to using public transport and the need for intergenerational activities are just a few of the issues brought up by participants at the roundtable relating to the creation of community environments that support healthy and active ageing.

The Active Transport Roundtable was chaired by Associate Prof. Anthony Barnett, a member of the BECRP at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research and Associate Professor at the Australian Catholic University. Some key takeaways from the discussion were the need for better infrastructure to increase the attractiveness of active transport and the need to address the tensions between cyclists, who commute and value travel time, and those who walk or ride for recreation at a leisurely pace.

The Access to Public Transport Roundtable was chaired by Prof. Takemi Sugiyama, a Professor at the Centre for Urban Transitions at Swinburne University of Technology. The importance of more coverage and increased frequency, changing negative perceptions, and including the planning and development of public transport services in the development of new urban growth areas were just a few of the key issues related to the provision of equitable and sustainable access to public transport.

Overall, the evening was successful in fostering knowledge translation and collaboration amongst researchers, policymakers and industries who are committed to sustainable practice and are eager to create healthy urban environments.

A big shout out to our fantastic and sustainable food and beverage service providers. Atiyah catering provided us with a delicious and sustainably produced Lebanese and Middle Eastern feast and Kegs on Legs were on hand to serve up some refreshing beverages to our guests. Thank you to everyone who attended the evening. Feedback has been hugely positive, and we are looking forward to hosting more of these events in the future.

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