Xing:This is the second and the last distinguished lecturer in RMIT we have sort of organized. I am [inaudible 00:00:11]. I am the chair of RMIT [inaudible 00:00:14] Academy. So, this is one of the mission we have, is to promote excellence of research, and also stimulate the discussions, talk about issues of international importance, and of course, create an environment for us to talk together and work together.
Xing:So today it is my pleasure to have distinguished professor [inaudible 00:00:36] to give the distinction lectures on livable, sustainable cities, which is very interesting to me as well. I have seen that quite a few from science engineers, and certainly that [inaudible 00:00:54]. I don't want to introduce Billie too much, but you all know that Billie is the director of the ECP-Urban Futures, this is one of the key issues that Urban Futures addresses. Billie is an outstanding researcher, I don't want to raise the [inaudible 00:01:18] as a very quantitative person, I think the number.
Xing:Check your numbers you have 260 publications, 11,156 citations, [inaudible 00:01:28] 52, and you're right in the highly cited researcher in the top 1% in the world. So really congratulations, we are very fortunate to have you. Without any delay, please join me to welcome Billy to give her lecture.
Billie:Google results, because the Google Scholar ones are even better.
Xing:This is better, this is web of science.
Billie:So thanks so much for coming, I know how busy it is at this time of year to fit in another lecture, but it's really nice to see you here, and thanks so much to Xing for the very nice introduction.
Billie:What I'm going to talk about is my own research, obviously the enabling capability platform director at RMIT my job is to enable the capability of the university to solve conflicts and problems.
Billie:There's no question in my mind that creating healthy, livable, sustainable cities is an obvious and apparent problem and it requires all hands on deck. It's not going to happen without all of the people who work in the building [inaudible 00:02:38] working together, us using the best technology to monitor the city, there's so many things that need to be done to create better cities.
Billie:I want to give you the why, what, and how, not that I've got all the answers, but to demonstrate why this is such a multi-disciplinary problem. Now I'm sure all of you would be sleeping under a mushroom if you didn't know that Melbourne was the most livable city there ever was, until we got our crown stolen by Vienna. And the question that [inaudible 00:03:11] is is this measure of livability fit for purpose, what does it tell us about Melbourne truly?
Billie:It's interesting when we unpack the index itself, there's 30 measures, 26 of them are politics. So about 6 are about the products of crime, it doesn't measure it, it rings up the night still, and Melbourne is safe. Any comment they make, no mate, that's okay. Any conflicts it's asks about culture and environment. I love this one about culture and environment: humidity, temperature rating. Is it discomfort of climate to travelers? And that's because this particular index is for executives when they're trying to decide what learning should thy give an executive when they're relocating to a city, they use the intelligence, a common intelligence unit to decide what they're learning will be.
Billie:So if you're going to some countries, Africa, some African countries, you get a 20% learning, and when you come to Melbourne or any Australian city, no learning. So if you're an expat going somewhere else its going to give you a bit of learning. It asks about education, and that's of interest to some sorts of people. Available private education, quality of private education. So truly if were thinking about livability of Melbourne is this index fit for purpose?
Billie:Now in the health sector we've been thinking about the way we design cities and the impact on health. In the last 15 years, quite seriously. There always was a relationship between the way we design cities and health, you know during industrialization the concern was about air quality, crowding, all the things that came with rapidly industrializing the city. It was really to do with infectious disease, but in the 21st century the issues are more to do with chronic disease.
Billie:I'd like to put this image up, this was cover, we were on the cover of Lancet. Now in our field it's not like publishing in Nature, or Science, which for those in the scientific fields are really aspiring to, but when you get published in Lancet you feel like you've really made it. And we got the cover. This is not us in the picture, but the image behind this is of New York, we went to launch of our special series of lancet on urban design transport and health.
Billie:So I want to present it to you because I want you to see why we think in health the way we design cities is so important in the 21st century relating to chronic disease. So I had the first paper on how to balance [inaudible 00:05:40] in the paper there was a number of people from across the world. So it was a multidisciplinary, multi-country endeavor. And what our job was was to lay the foundation for this particular series, and look at what does the evidence tell us about how city planning can affect population health and to outline what the challenges were.
Billie:Well the obvious thing that's happening in cities for the first time in human history, since 2008, 50% of people are living in cities, used to be 10% of people in the 1900s, and now it's 50%. In 2050 it's estimated it's going to be 66%, so we've got both rapidly growing populations by 2050 we estimates are we'll be 9.5 billion on the globe. But we've also got urbanization, and something that puts a lot of pressure on cities, clearly, because that's where everyone is flocking to, and the question is are we going to accommodate those rapidly growing populations, and do it in a way that protects the health and well-being.
Billie:And this is not just a global problem of course, because in Melbourne, by 2050 it's estimated that we're going to be 8 million, and we already see the discussions going on about the pressures of the city, the traffic congestion, the inequality that's being caused both out of suburban, inner-areas, so there's lot of issues that cities have [inaudible 00:07:02] to deal with.
Billie:But from a health perspective in addition to those big picture sustainability managing population growth issues, there's a whole range of other issues in the 21st century that cities need to deal with. The levels of chronic disease, now in a global perspective that's really important because what's happened of course, as countries become more wealthy, they've also got the diseases of wealth.
Billie:Used to be that in lower-income countries they dealt with infectious disease, but now they're living with chronic disease, and often they're dealing with infectious disease with chronic disease at the same time. But the chronic diseases are very expensive, and it's putting a lot of pressure on the health systems throughout the globe.
Billie:Rising levels of chronic disease is a big issue for health systems across the globe. Rising levels of depression, and it could be that we're measuring it better, it could be that people have always been depressed, but there is growing concerns about the rising levels of depression. Road traffic injuries, this is the 8th leading cause of death and disability globally. And it's becoming a bigger issue of course, through wealth, through countries getting more and more vehicles.
Billie:Air pollution, this is the biggest environmental hazard for health that we have. WHO has come out now and said this is a growing issue, I've got a couple of slides on that later. As our cities become more urbanizing, rising levels of noise, noise is a huge issue in Europe, and as we've got more people moving into the inner-city that will become a bigger issue. People are feeling socially isolated, and that has a big impact on people's mental health.
Billie:And when cities grow, people become more fearful, and constrain [inaudible 00:08:52], they're worried about going out today, they're constrained both by physical behavior, so being physically active, and also their social behavior. And that has a big impact on both their physical and mental health. And this rising level of inequities.
Billie:The haves and have nots, so we have cities now where we have growing levels of inequity. And we see it in a special way in Australia with our out of suburban areas not having nearly as much amenity as we have in the inner city. But income inequity is a major issue, and we ignore that at our peril is the way I put it. We cannot ignore inequity because when we have inequity we have such a disruption, so even if we're taking a selfish view rather than a more social view, rising levels of health and inequity are a major issue.
Billie:Now this has been recognized globally, the United Nations set development goals, really puts the role of city planning front and center of it's major goals. It has of course got 11, which is around cities and human settlements, so that's where we all live, but actually if you look across the whole document you can see that city planning, and health, are picked up across 9 goals, and 24 targets. So it's very much embedded in if we're going to achieve a more sustainable plan, cities have got to be a part of this.
Billie:Now, the other part of this is that in 2016, and [inaudible 00:10:22] was here, he was at [inaudible 00:10:24] of a team of people from IT. This is where the new urban agenda was launched, and this is clear recognition that if we are going to have a more sustainable future cities have got to be part of this, because that's where all the people are flocking to and we have to have cities as a city planner is clearly recognized, and what I like about this is, you might know about the urban futures planbook and their building platform, is they've actually put these words into it and it sounds awfully complicated, but what they say if we want to have a sustainable future, we have to reconsider the way cities are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed, and managed.
Billie:Now if that's not a multidisciplinary problem, I'm not sure what is. It means that everyone needs to help do that because were not going to be able to help get the cities that we need for 21st century unless were addressing this from a multidisciplinary perseverative. But it's not just the UN its also the OACD talks about pedestrian safety, urban space, and health, and I love this one. This a little quote from this, this is in 2012, because, it's sort of, it made the point that transport ministers and health ministers need to be involved in putting in the technical administrative, and regulatory framework that will promote the simple act of walking.
Billie:Because we've designed walking, active modes, out of the transportation system. We've really been designing cities for the car. And on that school, just to emphasize the point, it also put out this report in 2017 talking about the rising cost of air pollution. Thus far in the 21st century, so this is looking only at what's happened in the 21st century, 2017, the 21st century burden of air pollution in 41 countries was 3.2 million deaths and around 5.1 trillion dollars in 2015. So between 2000 and 2015 it's cost 5.1 trillion dollars because of air pollution.
Billie:And most of the air pollution is coming from transport, because transport is the largest contributor to air pollution in cities. So we're not talking about something that's trivial, so depending on what you're interested in, if you're interested in a social view, a health view, it looks pretty bad. If you're interested in an economic view, you see its costing us a lot of money, and if you're interested in environmental issues, we've got a big problem on our hands where we can see people actually dying from the fact that were driving our vehicles at the rate we are in cities.
Billie:So these are big issues, of course, the big discussion that goes on, it's been in the NYT at the moment, is about well, worry about population growth lets curb migration. Big issue. Can we do that? Can we curb migration, is that the solution? Is that to suggest that only some people, I saw this cartoon in the paper the other day, some of you are causing congestion, this is a Scott Morrison, so this is a ridiculous idea that we curb migration as a way of solving our population growth issues.
Billie:It's true that we have a lot of growth through immigration, but actually when we look at the details of that, two things emerge. One is that we only have 2.5% of our immigration is through humanitarian immigration, and I can't imagine that in the future we're not going to need to have more migration to deal with humanitarian problems that were dealing with globally. Social disruption from climate change and war, all sorts of problems we see across the globe, can't imagine that Australia is going to be able to avoid that in the future.
Billie:But in addition to that we have an aging population, in Australia, taking a selfish view, this is looking at a high growth scenario of what the average age of the population will be. So this is looking at Tasmania. With a high-growth scenario, so that's upper ring, so that's having a lot of migration. Even then were seeing that we're getting up to the average age, median age, being almost 50 by 2030. So big issue we've got an aging population, and this is the thing if we go for a low growth strategy, so we curb our immigration and have low growth, and this is the upper level here, this is really if we go through the low growth by 2030, 2031, this is wat the ages are going to be. Here we're getting up to almost 50 in the low growth strategy, 2031, in 2061 we have got a major issue we don't have immigration because we have an aging population.
Billie:If we don't have a population growth and we're not having immigration were going to have an aging population and many fewer people who are employed who can keep the economy going. So again if we take a view, a selfish view, immigration is a really big part of what we need to have in our cities, the question is how do we manage that growth. Which is the major issue, because we need to increase the number, maintain the number of skilled workers, and also the number of working age populations.
Billie:The other issue of course is we could manage our growth rather than manage our migration manage our congestion. And I like this image, this is an image of the busy city, so some people talk to us about what we should be doing with our vehicles is moving over to electric vehicles or, autonomous vehicles, and I like this image that appeared on twitter the other day, because this is what it looks like when we've got cars, this is what it looks like when we've got electric cars, this is what it could look like if we have autonomous cars, this is what it's going to look like when we have uber.
Billie:So depending on the decisions we make in terms of our policy, and government diversity, we're going to end up with all these scenarios regardless of the technology it's really up to us as citizens and researchers to look at what's going to the be the best way of governing this to actually use the technology to truly manage the city, but it's going to require governance. Its going to require, what are going to be the rules for the autonomous vehicles coming, what will be the rules that we use, what will be the governance that we put in place to deliver a good outcome for cities. Cause I'm pretty sure that the car manufacturers have probably got one thing in mind when they're thinking about autonomous vehicles, that all of us hopefully have our own car, because that's the business model. I can't imagine that we're not going to need to manage this.
Billie:So again putting our minds to this to come up with the best possible solutions for our cities, so we need to think about this in terms of again, it's multidisciplinary, a technical solution, a policy solution, and social solutions all of these need to be in mind to produce the best results for our cities.
Billie:Of course, I think this picture of Jack and Jill, I think this is a Tesla image, I have to think whats going to happen to these guys if this is what the future is, them having an autonomous vehicle, what's going to the be health impact of that. We're already dealing with chronic disease, this cars going to come up to your door, get in your car, sit down, lie down, not even concentrate on driving, just lay back, goodness knows what's going to happen to health impacts in the long term if we don't think carefully about what were going to do with autonomous vehicles.
Billie:The chronic disease impacts the medical impacts, I think it will be enormous and hopefully we'll learn about that in some of our research in the next little while. Now, none of these ideas are particularly new actually, in 2011 there was a high [inaudible 00:18:47] in the UN about how were going to manage, I mention this big issue about rising levels of chronic disease, and they have a [inaudible 00:18:58] on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. And what they said, which I think was really important, is that unless we can manage chronic disease, we're going to undermine the social and economic growth of our economies because the costs of actually fixing people up when they're preventable diseases is so great, and what were seeing in the developing countries, now seeing that infectious disease and chronic disease are actually gripping our hospitals.
Billie:I like this report because when I'm talking to my policy maker colleagues, because what it said is the house sector can't deal with this, the health sector is not going to be able to deal with these problems because all the other sectors outside of the health sector that create the conditions for good or poor health. So for example, in the health sector, what we do, is we are talking about what to do, eat a healthy diet, be physically active, don't smoke. Or we patch people up when they're sick, so if they don't follow that advice, we put them in the hospital, and we help them get well. Or we look after that when they're sick.
Billie:It's really all the other sectors that create the opportunities/the conditions for global health. And that's what this is saying, it's said that if were going to solve this problem we need to have engagement from all sectors of society, and to generate an effective response, and it needs to be multidisciplinary and multi-sector. So you may not think this in your own jobs, own future, own research, that decisions you make will have a health impact, but they may well, they're likely to.
Billie:And its a new way of thinking that it's all the other sectors that actually create the conditions on whether people live healthy, or unhealthy, lives. And this is important because we've got growing levels of inequity, and in this report that came out by the WHO, it suggests that the importance of social determinants of health, we need to be putting health and health equity at the hearts of our city governments, we need to be thinking about what will be the unintended health impact of the decisions we make.
Billie:Autonomous vehicles being one, I'm very keen that we start to think right now, not just of the technical solution, but what would be the social solution to this. It's not saying just don't have it, it's saying lets do it in a way that will produce an outcome we'll be proud of. On our watch were either going to create cites that promote good health and well-being, and good mental health, or not. So really it's about trying to think of these things up front and try to manage that. We won't always get it right, but we should be thinking of these before we just put the technology out there.
Billie:The WHO has said to close the gap to reduce inequity, we need to be thinking about placing health and health equity at the heart of all our city planning decisions. And this was reinforced in their Shanghai Declaration, talking about sustainable development goals, they've said for decades now, they've been talking about cities as a critical center for health, and they affirmed this, but they said, and I think its a really good quote, that health should be one of the most effective markers of any cities successful sustainable development, should be the health and well being of the people who live in those cities, and if we can't get that right, we're not really doing effective sustainable development.
Billie:Now, I've framed this around the paper that we did for the Lancet series, now Lancet was interesting because just one of the solutions about those cities is to really foster the alternative to driving, walking slightly to public transport use, and that's what we focused our paper on. But what was interesting about the Lancet which is very conservative if you'd like, it's a medical journal, and tends to be you know, gotta do everything right, they said we want you to go outside of bounds, we want you to not just write a completely academic, of course it's an academic paper, but they said we want you to push the boundaries, give us a sense of not just what the problem is, but how we're going to fix it.
Billie:Which really pushed us to think through bringing our research together, bringing together these multidisciplinary teams to think of it, and what we said was we need to have 8 integrated planning and transport dimensions, and I want to talk you through those. First of all, we're built on the work of the transportation planners, and overplanners, radioing in [inaudible 00:23:43] of era, and they've come up with the notion of [inaudible 00:23:45]IDs about how we should design cities to promote health and well being. Now we separated those out, and came up with the 8Ds we'd like to improve on, whatever everyone else has done, but we think it made sense what we proposed.
Billie:What we said is that if we want to build better cities, and to be honest in the health sector what we've tended to do is to focus on the local urban design, we said yeah, you need to do the local urban design, think about the design of the street networks, the levels of density that would optimize health, how close transit is, the diversity of housing, and how desireable it is, is it attractive? Do people feel fearful because of crime? Is it got [inaudible 00:24:27] and camping, can people walk and feel safe?
Billie:But in addition to that we needed to be thinking about [inaudible 00:24:32] planning. How are we going to get to drive, what's the quality of the transportation system, the public transportation system, that will get people to employment. Where is the employment, is it all in the center of the city, or is it spread throughout the city, so the distribution of employment. What's the demand management, I alluded to this a little with the comments to autonomous vehicles, but how are we going to diminish the demand, is it just free do people just do what they like, or is there congestion charging, or is there high cost parking that discourages people? Is there low cost public transport, that means people are more attracted to public transport.
Billie:These are all sort of demand management strategies, and again that requires the agro-scientist to be involved in those sorts of decision making. What we felt was this is a package of activities that need to go on, not just one, but a combination of things you need to create a better city, but we're not going to get that unless we can actually do things up front.
Billie:So we needed to have upstream activities, and we needed to be thinking about all the urban systems that create city, and align integrated planning across all of this. Transport, health services, where infrastructure is going to go, where the employment is going to go, [inaudible 00:25:48] planning. If you're in engineering you probably don't talk to the planners, the engineers and planners don't talk together. I saw, we had someone visiting from Finland, she's got one of the first programs where they're bringing land use and transport planning together. Oh heaven, that's really great, we should be doing that at RMIT, something for us to think about.
Billie:So, all these systems need to be integrated if we're going to have a good outcome, because together they produce the intimations that create the city. Which affect our transportation mode choices, identity outcomes, what we have access to in terms of employment, food, services, demand for different modes of transport, but in particular, a transportation mode of choice, whether we walk, cycle, use public transport, whether we drive.
Billie:Now, why are these important from a health point of view. We argue that these 8 exposures, 8 risk exposures to health, the amount of traffic there is, air quality, noise, social isolation, the crime that people experience, and then behavioral factors, whether people are inactive in their mode of choice, do they drive, do they sit, or whether they have access to healthy food. These are all behavioral risk factors, these are the social risk factors, and these are the environmental ones.
Billie:Now they're important because they affect our health. So for example, traffic, the obvious one affects traffic incidents and road trauma, which can have a detrimental impact on health. But traffics also important because of the impact on air quality. And air quality affects green house gas emissions, particular climate change, and it also has a number of health impacts that are caused by air quality: respiratory disease, heat stress, infectious disease, mental illness, all of these are impacted by the quality of the air.
Billie:But traffic is also important because of noise. Noise can impact social isolation impact on mental ill health. And then if people feel personally unsafe they can strain their behavior and that affects their social isolation. And together with all chronic disease factors, that impacts on our chronic disease, and ultimately our overweight, and overall well being.
Billie:So it's a system I've implied, it's a linear system, it's not a linear system, but we've presented it that way. But we're trying to make the point that the decisions we make around the cities, the integration of our policies, impact on health and well being of people down the track. And unless we want to do something about our chronic disease, our health and well being, we need to be doing things upstream to protect the conditions of good health.
Billie:Now what we've argued is if were going to achieve that we need integrated governments across a city. So in the past we haven't done this particularly well, we need integrated governance around transport and land use, employment, housing, all sort of social infrastructure, public safety. We need all these policies to be working together, which is why what's great with the ACP, we're trying to get multidisciplinary teams to solve these complex problems. We won't solve them unless different disciplines are working together.
Billie:Now, we've argued, [inaudible 00:29:16] is that the reason we need these 8 integrated systems is because that's what's required to create a livable city, and we've defined a livable city, and it's an inclusive definition, not like the [inaudible 00:29:30], we've said that a livable city is one that's safe, and socially cohesive and inclusive, it has to be environmentally sustainable. We can't continue just to build our cities the way they are, they're not environmentally sustainable. Of course we need to have affordable housing, but there's no point just providing that affordable housing on the fringe of cities if it's not linked by public transport or cycling infrastructure to all the things you need for daily life, access to employment, access to shops and services, access to public owned space, recreational opportunities. These are all the things we need for daily living.
Billie:So, just putting out affordable housing on the fringe of our cities is not actually solving our problems, it's putting more roads, it's enhancing inequity, it's meaning that people are living there without all the things they need for daily living. The question is how do we change that. So to encourage active transport and achieve the new urban agenda, what we've argued is that we need 8 integrated urban policies because they're needed to create the 8 urban transport planning intimations, and they are important because they affect 8 city related risk exposures.
Billie:Now, we didn't actually come up with the 8, it just sort of worked out that way, that was beautifully done, we were very clever in coming up with that. It just worked out that way. But that's going to require integrated governments. Now, the simple part of what I'm going to talk about is how you work with this, in our research we came up with the notion that what gets measured will get done, and we needed to be measuring.
Billie:So, we've been measuring walk ability, we've been using walk ability, geographic measuring systems to create measures of a built in environment for decades, but we've never really given it back to anyone, we've never given it to our policy maker colleagues, we've never made It public, we've just kept it on our computers, but now what were doing is starting to visualize this and give it out.
Billie:So this is our map of Melbourne. And you can see inner Melbourne, of course is very livable very nice and walkabout, but any yellow out to red that's where you start to get people driving, and anything that is yellow to red people only drive, there is no other choices. So what we planned is that we needed to be collecting information on the legislation of polices, the government investment in different types of transport, all the interventions and then all the outcomes to be able to monitor that.
Billie:Now, we've been doing some of that work here in Melbourne and I wanted to share that with you. This is the [inaudible 00:32:15] many of them in the audience now who've contributed to the research, and we've had funding from a number of different resources, from a central resource excellence, which is finishing this Thursday, to the Australian election partnership center, and the clean air and landscape, they've all contributed funding to fund the research that I'm going to present.
Billie:We've done lots of testing out of all the different measures, so everything I'm presenting here [inaudible 00:32:38] to work for our CRE, we've got a lot of papers behind us, so we haven't thought of this yesterday. This has been a long series of work. We want to test out, public health tends to be very evidence based, we want to test out the indicators. Do these policy relevant indicators of the building [inaudible 00:32:59] do they promote health? So we've been testing those out.
Billie:And we've used those in a report we've done nationally, the creating livable cities report, which was published in 2017. This work was led by Jonathon Arandelle. We had funding from multiple sources, and partnership with RN, and researchers from a number of different universities. We did a couple of different things in this, we reviewed in the policy. If we want to change cities, we have to understand the policy and environment in which we're working, so what we did first, we reviewed all the evidence around policies in the 4 states: [inaudible 00:33:37], Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Billie:And we wanted to create indicators of the main intention of policy and to assist the level of policy implementation, to give us a sense of do we have the policy frameworks in place to deliver better cities, and to whom are those policies being delivered. So that was the first part. We also created a set of national health related indicators. So the health related indicators were the ones Hannah had worked on. So we looked at which indicators, that were policy relevant, but might not be in every state, policies that were being delivered in that state, but which indicators would promote health.
Billie:So if you had a policy for this, we'd test it out and see if promoted health. The ones we tested out were the ones that we found were most likely to promote health, and we wanted to map and look at the spacial distribution, and make some recommendations. So we only focused on a set number of domain sustainability: we looked at public open space, transport, walk ability, housing affordability, employment, food environment, and alcohol environment. The alcohol environment really came from our partner, one of the partners was a [inaudible 00:34:53] partnership center particularly interested in people's access to alcohol.
Billie:The others are more interested in the urban planning type of indicators. And it's interesting because it's quite hard to do a study like this because it's a national study and getting the data together was a major challenge. So just to give you a sense of the sorts of things were looking at, for example, in Victoria, the Victorian transport policy is that 95% should live within 400 meters of a bus stop, 800 meters of a train stop, or 600 meters from a tram stop, and what we have here is the map showing that level of access. So this is all the residential areas where they are achieving this, so the darker the color the more likely you have this level of access, and in the outer suburban areas you see much lower, lighter colors and that's because they have less access to public transport.
Billie:And then we looked at what suburbs are actually achieving the policy, the policy was that 95% of houses should be in this level of access to public transport. And this is only where you really get everyone in the area. It's only in the inner city really that we find that most people have this level of access, so there's this gap between the policy, and who's actually within it. So there's inequities in terms of delivery of the policy.
Billie:We also found looking across the country, differing levels of policy ambition. So this is a really interesting one from Perth. Perth's policy is much more modest, it's policy is that 60% of dwellings, not like Melbourne 95%, should be within 400 meters of a bus stop, and public transport stop, and it looks pretty good, because this is the level of access. So this is the number of suburbs that actually meet that policy, 60% of dwellings meet that. So that looks kind of good right.
Billie:Look at Sydney, Sydney's policy is that 100% of dwellings should be within 400 meters of a bus stop, or 800 meters of a train stop, but there should be a service every 30 minutes. Much better policy, not very well [inaudible 00:37:06], 2% of suburbs have that access. So very interesting because what we argued in the report is actually it's better to have a better policy, and not be delivering, than the modest one, Perth's just sitting on its laurels thinking oh we're pretty good.
Billie:What we then did is we compared a common metric, which is our health related indicator, which is how many people live within 400 meters of a bus stop, which a service every 30 minutes. So we can compare apples to apples. And this is Perth, so here it looked really fabulous. This is the only suburbs where you've got most people at that level of access out of the inner city. Sydney has got many more areas where there's that level of access, nothing out in the west, but certainly close to the city, not doing too bad, in fact it's about 35-30%.
Billie:So, interesting differences comparing apples and apples was important. We did this across all the cities, so you see, it's actually only Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, all have around 35% of people have that level of access. And in other places, Brisbane very poor, 12% of people meet that level of access, Perth not doing well, none of the other cities.
Billie:So quite interesting differences when you compare cities on a common metric. We also compared them on things like walkability, and you find the same, similar patterns, so inner city you're doing pretty well, same as in Perth, Brisbane, not too bad, all that in the fringe very bad of course, and all cities are the same. Sydney, not doing so well either. So what we're finding is that the policies are good at being delivered in the inner cities, but again this idea of inequity. And so if you're thinking about inequity in terms of the outer suburban areas, people can't walk anywhere, no public transport, it's quite an inequitable station.
Billie:We wanted to try and unpack that, why is that the case, and part of the reason is our policies, again we're doing policy analysis, is that the densities are so low. As our policies we actually build our cities at very low density, our policies for most Australian cities is on the fringe of cities, building at 15 units per head, which is very low. And even when we look at where is that policy which is very modest being delivered, you find it's really only in the inner cities that that's even being delivered. The places where it's walkable, the places where there's public transport, that's where we're getting, achieving, that low density 15 [inaudible 00:39:38].
Billie:We've got big problem with our policy ambition. When we looked at this, done by Lucy Gunn, and Claire Valaunch, Clair looked at what sort of levels of density do we need to encourage walking slightly and public transport use and to reduce driving, and we find that people are 2.5x more likely to walk 5.6x more likely to cycle, 3x more likely to use public transit, .5 are likely to drive, if we get up to 20-29 [inaudible 00:40:10].
Billie:So, density is really critical, and yet we're still building at such low densities on the fringe. I've emphasized in our livability index, a livable city has got to be a sustainable city, and we're certainly not doing well in that regard. This is the ecological footprint, this is work done by Pierre Newton. Looking at the ecological footprint along the bottom, and along the other axis, we're looking at the livability index, so this the [inaudible 00:40:39] intelligence unit. This is Melbourne and Sydney, so we're highly, highly livable. Really up, high score for livability, but really high ecological footprint.
Billie:And I've mentioned that we've just been knocked off by Vienna, it's got 1/2 the ecological footprint because of the way the city is designed, because of the public transport system, it fosters more cycling, and so a lot of the European cities, including London, Paris, I'm not sure in terms of ecological footprint than what we enjoy here in Australia.
Billie:So a big issue, so we have a way to go. There's many things that make a city livable, but we're not going to achieve the outcomes that we really desire because we have a long way to go. And we've recommended a number of things, we said that we need to have more evidence informed policy, that all the time creating more evidence we could be doing much better policy making if we used the evidence to form our policies.
Billie:We suggested that there needed to, we encouraged the idea of ambitious policy, I mentioned about Sydney it's public transit policy is very ambitious it's not being delivered, but we think go for ambition, and make short-term, and long-term targets to achieve it. Don't go for the Perth approach, 60% too low, I mean really that's not going to create an equitable city having such modest policies. Better to have ambitious policy, short and long term targets.
Billie:We've suggested that we really [inaudible 00:42:13] useful. Because then it tells us are the policies being delivered, and to whom are they being delivered to. We've suggested that the national cities performance framework be expanded to include broader indicators. A lot of our indicators have been picked up by the national performance framework for cities.
Billie:We've suggested there need to be better data standards, in particularly across our country, it's only a small country we could have consistent data standards that allow us to do these sorts of studies better and frequently, and we've suggested that these sort of cycles, creating these indicators, we should be checking in the same way we do the census, we should have an environmental census to see what policies are being delivered, who's getting them.
Billie:We've suggested that there needs to be better governors, methodological governors, that aligns local governments, state government, federal government, to be able to achieve the cities that we need in the 21st century. You can see these are really, they are multidisciplinary, no one really knows how to achieve these, and that's where the social scientists, the political scientists really need to be involved in this as well.
Billie:Just want to check with Xing about the time, how am I going?
Billie:We have been thinking about this in terms of the sustainable development goals. Could city planning metrics help achieve the goals, and it's arguable, that really depends, and I'm just going to acknowledge, put a paper under here at the moment, Jonathon, [inaudible 00:43:49], and Melanie Lowe, what we were looking at, and I mentioned this is the framework we've got for our cities, and then what we have, I mentioned we need an integrated government because that's going to produce this intimations that will impact health.
Billie:And what I did was, we've gone through and done, we took the sustainable development goals, what's happened is that the UN has now approved a global indicator framework, with the idea to help achieve the goals, and what we did was map them against our framework, and what we found was, there's a lot of indicators, air pollution, personal safety, mental illness, these sorts of things. But not so much focused on the upstream, so how are we going to improve air pollution if we don't have any investments, and can't support, don't have any policies around air quality.
Billie:So, our concern is that what we're doing when we're setting up these frameworks is the indicators themselves won't do it unless we're asking the right indicators in there, and the indicators are a bit too downstream to achieve, there are some that are upstream, and there's a couple that have a focus on how much money is being spent, but there is no comparison for example on how much we're spending on transportation in different countries, and whether there's a transportation policy, or an air quality policy.
Billie:If you want to get better air quality, you need to have policies in place to achieve it. So we have some doubts, you might ask does this research, it's really applied research it's designed to have impact, and I just ant to talk you through and show you where some of our research has gone.
Billie:Our definition of livability is being adopted, and I'm pleased someone from the health department is here, Denise, it was adopted int eh health and well being plan 2015-2019, so that's quite important because local government looks to the state government health and well being plan to get clues about where it should be working at the local government to promote health. It's required to do this as well, plans, and this is where it gets clues about where to focus, so we're really pleased about that.
Billie:And its great because all of our livability indicators have been picked up in Cardinia, they just got a prize for the work that they're doing, its been picked up in the interface councils on urban fringe, its being picked up by Molland, where they talk about livable communities and refer to our work. The M[inaudible 00:46:20] Peninsula livability index have picked up our indicators into their framework, and there's also livability work being done here in the city of Melbourne.
Billie:In terms of the national level, federal level, our indicator they've picked a new indicator for transport, by the [inaudible 00:46:40], and in an actual performance [inaudible 00:46:44] for cities, and they even mention us as a source of it is from the creating livable cities report. They've also picked up our public owned space indicator, and they will next year put in our walkability indicator.
Billie:So design research that's tied to the policies that we're trying to influence, means that it's relevant to them and they're going to pick it up which is really a big thrill. We've been putting out our scorecards for cities, and this has created a lot of discussion, I've just been up in Brisbane last week for our final meeting about Center for Research Excellence, and Treasury because they're very interested in the work we've been doing. We've got a scorecard for Brisbane that've we've just put out.
Billie:So again, tying to their interests, the government's interests, it's much more likely to get picked up. So where are we going to next? We're working at the global level, we're just about to start doing global indicators with 20 cities across the globe. Hannah is doing work in Bangkok, [inaudible 00:47:43], she's got her own program work now, but she's doing work in Bangkok, looking at indicators, working with the city of Bangkok.
Billie:But we're working with a group of researchers in 20 cities where we're going to try to create indicators using geo-spacial data, to be able, and publish it in Lancet, as proof of concept is it possible to use data and to create a global network of data.
Billie:We're focusing on child development through attitude. So most of our work has been done with adults, but Karen [inaudible 00:48:15] she's been looking at child development and livability and what it's like for families in communities. But we're also doing work with [inaudible 00:48:23], not that that's that old in Brisbane.
Billie:Lucy Gaines is looking at thresholds, in terms of walking, but we're also looking at thresholds for green space. How much green space do we need to optimize our health, what's the size, what's the quality, that sort of area. Lucy Gaines is also looking at economics, we're trying to work out the economic evaluation, to be able to work out what makes it worthwhile from an economic perspective. We've certainly got some nice data on that.
Billie:Clair Valaunch is looking at using planning support tools to help planners to make better decision making when they're building their cities, and moving into [inaudible 00:49:10] less modeling. We're going to model the city which is really exciting, this is work led by Jonathon Arendale, and Claire Valaunch, and then we're also going to be testing out, this is Lucy, looking at the health impact in the cities that we make around autonomous vehicles.
Billie:There's been a model that's being developed by infrastructure Victoria, looking at different ways we could go with autonomous vehicles, we're going to look at the health impact of that, and then we can do the economic evaluation of the decisions that we make. And I think this is really critical, we need to be thinking upfront about our decisions before we just go off and do it and think oopsie, we've got a big expense here, and a big impact on the community.
Billie:The other area that we're not doing but Paul [inaudible 00:49:57] might, foreign PhD students, but we're thinking about the [inaudible 00:50:00]. We have policy and we don't implement it fully, the question is why. You know where is the leanage curve, so here's the policy principle, here's what ends up on the ground, but at each stage of the review process goes to local government, it goes back to the developers, it is reviewed by government, why doesn't it get delivered. This is what we call the leaking of the block pipe. We want to work out why this is a [inaudible 00:50:29] curve, and that's a really interesting question for us.
Billie:We're creating an urban observatory for our data, we want to give this back to the community so they can actually make a difference, and use the data. So if you [inaudible 00:50:40] on a computer, urban observatory in the making. We'll be opening next year, this is what it looks like. You'll be able to zoom in and go look at areas, and we'll give people metrics if an area is not looking very good they can go in and work out why.
Billie:Local government likes this because they can go in and work out in their area what they need to do to improve it. And of course, through the urban futures and capability platform we've been doing some work, we want to bring together evidence, and give it to governments, so we want to make a difference, and it's been terrific, we've been doing some policy briefs in time for the election, we've put it up on livability, active, transport, natural based solutions for sustainability surveys. [inaudible 00:51:26] but a whole bunch on transport that were done by the transport network, and we've done another on water, which is done by Julia in engineering.
Billie:And then there's another one on autonomous vehicles and new mobility, why it has to do that tying in engineering. So it's really, urban futures, we want to give out timely advice to government, which [inaudible 00:51:46] through policy has been leading this work, but this is the sort of thing we want to do. We want to have an impact.
Billie:So I'm going to stop there. [inaudible 00:51:57] so this is the why.
Billie:The why. Land use and transport policies have a major impact on [inaudible 00:52:03] and health. And there's lots of benefit from prioritizing livability, all these kinds of public transport, and really thinking carefully what's going to happen with autonomous vehicles, or electric vehicles.
Billie:No one solution is going to solve this, [inaudible 00:52:23], really needs to have teams of people working on them to solve them. And we've recommended a number of 8 integrative interventions and we need to be thinking about, ensure that we have a healthy and sustainable future, it does require integrative planning, across all the urban systems. And we think the [inaudible 00:52:43] indicators will help us sharpen our attention to see what are we delivering, who are delivering it to, and are we producing the sort of cities that will be healthy and sustainable into the future.
Billie:So thank you.
Xing:Thank you very much. We have a few minutes so now we open for questions if anybody has any.
Xing:I might just start. I look at what you are trying to do, lots of things, in Australia, and is that the cultural context for the whole thing. If you go to a different country, different culture, different religion, the regulatory framework is different. [inaudible 00:53:36] approach with [inaudible 00:53:37].
Billie:Well the research has been done like this. I mentioned that we're doing these indicators in other cities now. And it's been a big global study, 20 countries across the world have been collecting data, and we find that the same things are predicted. So the sorts of things that were in our model, are predictive, so the density, the access to transit, all those things, but the delivery of it might be different. So in some countries, for example, China or India, they've got plenty of density, but it's not safe to walk in India.
Billie:It's not a safe walking infrastructure, it's not safe at all for people to walk because of the amount of traffic, and there's not separation, so the principles are similar the delivery is different, so they need to be localized. So that's why you need to have a lot of interest in this in both India and China, and our Lancet paper, someone just translated it into Chinese, which we're very happy about, but there's a lot of interest in it. It just needs to be localized. The principles are the same, but the delivery will be different, and obviously the densities are very different.
Billie:So it's not a big issue to worry about density, it's about maybe some of the other things that need to be considered. And the other thing of course is the durability of the heat. I've just been up to Brisbane, and it's very hot there, and so you need to think about tree camping, and greening, to actually make it, and keep the heat affects down. So there's all these other things that need to be taken into account.
Billie:But we've sort of captured that I suppose in our concept of desirability, which is a bit of a catch all. So I think it requires contextualizing, but human behavior is the same, it just needs to be, the environments are different, they need to be contextualized.
Xing:Alright, any other questions, Margaret.
Margaret:I have a question about where does electricity play into all of this, and if we're talking about autonomous cars, and some of them being electric, then their pollution and their noise is much less, but there are other things that need to be taken into account. And in the public transport are buses considered, or is it just purely trains, and trams?
Billie:Buses are part of it yeah.
Margaret:Cause they're private, so when you talk about the distance of people to public transport, is that considering the bus routes that take them into the train lines that take them into...
Billie:Yeah. They've got terrible access to buses as well. That 400 meters out to a public transport, and those every 30 minutes. So their access is really poor around the fringe. But to make your point I think that's a really good one. That concerns me. I'd really like us to model moving to autonomous, or, it depends how they're going to be powered.
Margaret:Well I'm thinking electricity on buses that have solar panels on their roof or something that take the...
Billie:That would be great, but I worry that all these vehicles are going to use pop up [inaudible 00:57:06] car stations.
Billie:That's not going to produce a good result.
Margaret:But solar panels.
Billie:Solar panels, yeah. Transitioning as quickly as possible to renewables, and when I think about the autonomous vehicle it could be a really great, if there were shared vehicles, and you know we have fewer vehicles, and we talk about that, there's lot of places in the world that live in a values free way of thinking about autonomous vehicles.
Billie:And are value streamlining so that everyone will just be able to do what they want, if we are going to get down to it, a bit of a nightmare, there will be drones, there will be autonomous vehicles. It could actually be bad, and we I think on our walks this is going to happen. And we have to ask ourselves the question, what is going to produce the best result for society, and we've got to bring together multidisciplinary teams to try and work out not only what's the best use of technology in a sustainable way, but the right energy, but also what's going to produce the best result for society that produces a good future.
Billie:And I think that's the beauty of what we're trying to do with ECPs is that we're coming at it not just within one system, or one discipline, but trying to bring a team together to produce...bringing in social science, bringing the political scientists, the people working with community, the people who talk to the community. Find out how to produce the best result, and that's where we've got a real opportunity.
Billie:I think we've got a responsibility to be honest, I've just written a book chapter for London School of Economics, and I think they're about to get away with it, but I did say in the end, that anyone who builds a city, should have to sign a hippocratic oath, first do no harm, and that's our responsibility. Yeah, just because we can doesn't mean we should, and if we are going to, what do we actually think about it upfront. We're smart enough we know the problems that have happened to the environment by us just being cavalier with technology.
Billie:Let's just now think about it and do it in a way that's going to produce the best result that optimizes the health impact or the world [inaudible 00:59:26], individuals and the environment, and minimalizes any harm.
Xing:Just one last.
Speaker 4:I'm interested in your [inaudible 00:59:38] drawing. Is that because culture, as you mentioned, or is it because of democracy, where blending is then changed in another 3 years time, and keeps on going on?
Speaker 4:So the example, I'm going to give is in Singapore, the first time I went there I was just a teenager, Melbourne has got the city look, and there's nothing at all in Singapore there's no transportation. And I just visited I think 5 years ago, and saw this public transport is fantastic over there. And I saw this headline in the NYT and it says within 2030 everybody will be living 5 minutes from a train station.
Speaker 4:We don't know how to do it, we don't have the budget, but we're going to do it.
Billie:It's easy to do things in Singapore because of the political system, there's no question about that. But it is an interesting point, I believe in [inaudible 01:00:56], it's interesting we did an evaluation on the state of policy in West Australia, and they have a policy it was only 47% implemented.
Billie:And we could actually look across all the different policies and see what was implemented and what wasn't. But the policy didn't work. The policy was fine, every chance of increase in the policy, the odds of people walking increase by 53%, sense of community improved by 22%, mental health by 11%, and being a victim of crime did increase by 40%. So the leaders were right, it was the implementation that was the problem, and that's why we're curious about the leaking pipe.
Billie:Is it when the different jurisdictions do their policies in different ways, but in West Australia, the state government, its responsibility was to review all of the plans. Now did they say, oh that's okay we're going to let that go, the lineage curve of that state, where they let things go that weren't right.
Billie:Or was it when it went back to local government that had to implement it? Was it them saying, oh we'll let that go. Or was it when the developer took it, and then just didn't develop what they were meant to deliver. So that's why it's interesting, but you're right in some jurisdictions we could have many more opportunities. That's the sort of conversations we need to have as a community. We do [inaudible 01:02:25] but also I think we need a relationship with the university as well.
Billie:The university has a responsibility to be thinking about this thing, and being [inaudible 01:02:35] and leaders, and saying, I really think, that in our university, what has to be seen is [inaudible 01:02:40] that we're not just putting things out there, but putting things that we're really important in that multidisciplinary view and we produce products, and policies, or technology that has really been thought through.
Billie:That is going to produce a good outcome. And we will get it wrong sometimes, I'm not saying that well be perfect, but it would be really nice if we were thinking about it. I think that's what the promise from the [inaudible 01:03:02] is about, is that it does provide people with those opportunities to look at things in a different way.
Billie:The other thing is we're putting in a big [inaudible 01:03:13] urban futures CRC, and what's great about that is the program I'm doing is about citizen centric solutions, actually asking the community, that's my area that I'm strong in.
Billie:But community engagement, how do we get the community engaged? The community is often wiser than we think, so I think we could be involved in the community and co-design the product, and actually gain their social license to put out products that both industry and government will have more confidence in. It's time to stop.
Xing:Just one last quick question.
Speaker 5:[inaudible 01:03:59]
Billie:It's very transparent. There's two types of indicators, one around policy and that was [inaudible 01:04:21] with the city, so Perth's policies, and that was the other thing every city has to give policies in Australia.
Billie:It's hard to imagine why they would do that, but we different policies in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. So we measure and reflected back to them what was being delivered, for every residential parcel in every capital city by the end of the year, we'll have them for the 21 cities that in the national performance framework. So the indicators are at the parcel level, so we can look at your home and say what do you have access to in terms of these things.
Billie:We haven't weighted them, and that's a very good point. We have created an index, but we didn't weight them. We sort of weighed them in a way because we uncapped some of the indicators, so we put in all the different types of destinations, which means it's weighted just because you've got more indicators in there. But that, if you're into those sorts of things, we would love to talk to you, we would love to try and do that.
Billie:So if you're a mathematician, come to our class, we'd love to work with you, that is something we'd love to be able to do. I think there's so much more work we could be doing with these sorts of things. The sky's the limit and without urban observatory were going to make it university wide, it's going to be for the community, but we're also creating a search platform so that people can come and work on those data sets. So if that's your thing that measurement. We'd love to talk to you.
Xing:Please join me to thank Billie for the excellent talk. All best for the new year.
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