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New Standards for Healthier Neighbourhood Design – Queensland


The State Government has launched a new draft planning code for public consultation that provides new standards for residential developments and improved contribution to creating healthier neighbourhoods throughout Queensland. – Have your say here

The layout of a residential design will soon be placed under further review to ensure it can meet the criterial of the new model code. New development will need to provide improved walkable streets that are shaded, connected, providing access to parks and public open space.

Cameron Dick, Minister for Planning outlined that the new model code for neighbourhood design is to be released for public consultation in a move designed to improve health and set compulsory standards for new developments.

“Our built environment has a huge impact on how active and healthy people are. With some relatively simple improvements to the current planning framework, we can better ensure all new developments are walkable and encourage active living, which will help improve the health of all Queenslanders,”

 “We live in a hot climate and in a recent Department of Transport and Main Roads survey 24 percent of Queenslanders said lack of shade and shelter along their walking route was a major barrier to walking in Queensland. 

“This code is about getting the fundamentals of new development right, creating walkable, grid-like street layouts, better connectivity, footpaths with street trees for shading, and better access to parks and public open space.” Mr Dick said.

Code Elements possible mandatory by 2020
– Grid-like street networks with fewer cul-de-sacs
– Footpaths complemented by street trees on both sides of most street
– Street blocks no longer than 130m with longer blocks having mid-block pedestrian breaks
– Parks and open spaces within comfortable walking distance of every dwelling.

Stephen Vines, Queensland CEO for the Heart Foundation outlined that walking-friendly neighbourhoods were needed to get residents more active and address the state’s growing obesity crisis.

“Too many Queenslanders are missing out on the physical activity they need for good heart health, so we must find ways to encourage residents to get moving and leave the car at home more often,”

“Neighbourhood design plays an important role in building healthier communities, and we’re pleased to see this model code includes Healthy Active by Design principles from the Heart Foundation.

“There is a great deal of research that proves better designed communities provide health and economic benefits by encouraging physical activity and reducing heart disease – our biggest killer.” Mr Vines said.

Kirsty Chessher-Brown, Queensland CEO for Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) outlined how it was important the industry worked together to ensure good health outcomes for all new communities.

“The design of new communities can have an impact on how healthy and active people are so it’s important we all play our part to support healthier communities,”

“The UDIA supports measures that seek to provide healthy and active communities across the state and supports the development of model codes which encourage the provision of walkable environments.” Ms Chessher-Brown said.

Mr Dick said this was a policy for the community and feedback would be sought on how best to make our communities more active, connected and safe. Mr Dick expressed that elements of the model code could be become mandatory by the end of 2019.

“While some councils and developers are exceeding the benchmarks we are setting, we want to make sure all new development meets community expectations,” he said. 

“This will provide greater certainty for the development community about what is expected of new development and ultimately provide better designed communities for home buyers and renters.”

“Whether you live in an inner-city suburb or a remote part of Queensland, this is a policy with benefits for every Queenslander,”

“I want to hear from all Queenslanders about the challenges they have in their neighbourhoods, from lack of footpaths to poor shading, and what we can do to improve these things in new developments”. 

“We want Queenslanders to be able to move easily and comfortably around their neighbourhood”. he said.

Project Timing
21 July 2019
– Model neighbourhood code released
– Consultation on proposed mandatory elements of the code for six weeks

1 September 2019
– Community consultation ends
– Queensland Government considers community feedback
Have your say here

October/November 2019
– Confirm results of consultation and proposed approach

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Source: Information, Drawings and Images
All article information is sourced and available for review from referenced locations.
Media Statement 21 July 2019
Creating healthy and active communities document
DSDMIP Planning Page


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