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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2013  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2013   
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Measures of Australia's Progress

Healthy built environment

Australians aspire to healthy built environments
Graph Image for Capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion - Headline version

Source(s): Unpublished data from the Property Council of Australia's 2010, 2011 and 2012 'My City' surveys conducted by Auspoll; Unpublished data from the Property Council of Australia's 2010, 2011 and 2012 'My City' surveys conducted by Auspoll

Image: Tick - Progress

The health of our built environments in Australia has progressed in recent years

    Indicator: Proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion

    Why is this theme important?

    Close to two-thirds of Australians live in our capital cities, with many living in other urban centres. On a daily basis, people use buildings, roads and pathways, transport systems, sewage systems, parks and other built environments.

    Australians told us that they cared about the importance of the liveability of urban environments. For example, people said that built environments should be well planned, provide adequate housing and access to services, and support health and safety. People also felt that these environments should be somewhere that people enjoy living and being, and should support positive social interaction and inclusion. Built environments have practical value, as well as heritage, social and aesthetic aspects which contribute to wellbeing. People aspired to be able to support the health of the natural environment both within their urban setting and beyond.

    How have we decided there has been progress?

    We have decided that healthy built environments in Australia have progressed in recent years because the proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion (our headline progress indicator for healthy built environments) has increased.

    In 2012, 25% of capital city residents felt that their city had a good road network and minimal traffic congestion. This was an increase from the 23% who felt the same way in 2010.

    Why this headline progress indicator?

    Effective transport systems are an important part of the aspiration for healthy built environments.

    The proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion is considered a good measure of progress for the health of our built environment because as our cities grow, congestion threatens to have an impact upon the wellbeing and health of many city dwellers. Increasing levels of satisfaction with road networks and congestion are associated with other benefits for residents, such as reduced pollution, reduced time lost sitting in traffic and reduced feelings of stress.

    There are many other aspects of healthy built environments mentioned above that this indicator does not take into consideration.

    Quality assessment (see key)

    Image: Icon for 'Partial measure' This indicator is a partial measure of the concept of healthy built environments as described above (based on Aspirations for our Nation)

    Image: Icon for 'Acceptable quality' The data source is of acceptable quality.

    Let's break it down!

    In 2012, the cities with the highest proportions of residents that felt that their city had a good road network and minimal traffic congestion were Darwin (73%) and Canberra (72%). Hobart was the only other city to have at least half its residents feel this way (55%).

    Between 2010 and 2012, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney all had an increase in the proportion of their residents feeling positive about this aspect of their respective cities, while Adelaide was the only city that experienced a significant decline.

    Despite Sydney's improvement over the period, it had the lowest proportion of residents happy with its roads and congestion (13% in 2010 and 17% in 2012).

    Use the drop down menu on the graph to look at other breakdowns of the indicator (graphs are also available on the further info page).

    But that is not the whole story...

    There is more to healthy built environments than perceptions of road networks and traffic congestion. Unfortunately though, many of the elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

    Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
A data gap currently exists for the quality of our built environment

In MAP there are several types of data gaps where:
1. the concept is not yet developed enough to measure;
2. the concept is important for progress but may not lend itself to meaningful measurement;
3. there is no data of sufficient quality to inform on progress; or
4. there is only one data point, so a progress assessment cannot be made.

In order to capture the spirit of this idea in a measure, further development will need to be undertaken. We will continue to explore options for a suitable indicator in the future.

There is more to healthy built environments than the built environment's quality. Unfortunately though, many of the other elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
Graph Image for Capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion - Element version

Source(s): Unpublished data from the Property Council of Australia's 2010, 2011 and 2012 'My City' surveys conducted by Auspoll; Unpublished data from the Property Council of Australia's 2010, 2011 and 2012 'My City' surveys conducted by Auspoll

The degree to which Australia's built environments are people friendly has progressed in recent years

Indicator: Proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion

Why is this element important?

A strong theme of the consultation was the importance of the liveability of urban environments. People felt that these environments should be somewhere they enjoy living and being, that also supports positive social interaction and inclusion.

Go to the overall progress tab and further info page for more information about healthy built environments.

How have we decided there has been progress?

We have decided that people friendly built environments in Australia have progressed in recent years because the proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion (our progress indicator for people friendly built environments) has increased.

In 2012, 25% of capital city residents felt that their city had a good road network and minimal traffic congestion. This was an increase from the 23% who felt the same way in 2010.

Why this progress indicator?

Satisfaction with practical and well planned cities is an important part of the aspiration for healthy built environments.

The proportion of capital city residents who feel that their city has a good road network and minimal traffic congestion is considered a good measure of progress for people friendly built environments because as our cities grow, congestion threatens to impact, and frustrate, an increasing number of city dwellers. If we see an increasing level of satisfaction with road networks and congestion, then we can infer that residents are feeling happier with the ease with which they can move around their city and more easily make use of the benefits that city life has to offer.

Quality assessment (see key)

Image: Icon for 'Partial measure' This indicator is a partial measure of people friendly built environments.

Image: Icon for 'Acceptable quality' The data source is of acceptable quality.

Let's break it down!

In 2012, the cities with the highest proportions of residents that felt that their city had a good road network and minimal traffic congestion were Darwin (73%) and Canberra (72%). Hobart was the only other city to have at least half its residents feel this way (55%).

Between 2010 and 2012, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney all had an increase in the proportion of their residents feeling positive about this aspect of their respective cities, while Adelaide was the only city that experienced a significant decline.

Despite Sydney's improvement over the period, it had the lowest proportion of residents happy with its roads and congestion (13% in 2010 and 17% in 2012).

Use the drop down menu on the graph to look at other breakdowns of the indicator (graphs are also available on the further info page).

But that is not the whole story...

There is more to healthy built environments than their people friendly nature. Unfortunately though, many of the elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
A data gap currently exists for the cultural and heritage value of our built environments

In MAP there are several types of data gaps where:
1. the concept is not yet developed enough to measure;
2. the concept is important for progress but may not lend itself to meaningful measurement;
3. there is no data of sufficient quality to inform on progress; or
4. there is only one data point, so a progress assessment cannot be made.

A range of possible indicators are being considered for the cultural and heritage value of our built environments, such as people's cultural participation or the number of heritage sites. In order to capture the spirit of this idea in a measure, further development will need to be undertaken. We will continue to explore options for a suitable indicator in the future.

There is more to healthy built environments than cultural and heritage value. Unfortunately though, many of the other elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
A data gap currently exists for access to natural areas in our built environments

In MAP there are several types of data gaps where:
1. the concept is not yet developed enough to measure;
2. the concept is important for progress but may not lend itself to meaningful measurement;
3. there is no data of sufficient quality to inform on progress; or
4. there is only one data point, so a progress assessment cannot be made.

A range of possible indicators are being considered for access to natural areas within our built environments, such as looking at the extent of natural or green spaces within metropolitan or urban areas. In order to capture the spirit of this idea in a measure, further development will need to be undertaken. We will continue to explore options for a suitable indicator in the future.

There is more to healthy built environments than access to natural areas. Unfortunately though, many of the other elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
A data gap currently exists for the ecological friendliness of our built environments

In MAP there are several types of data gaps where:
1. the concept is not yet developed enough to measure;
2. the concept is important for progress but may not lend itself to meaningful measurement;
3. there is no data of sufficient quality to inform on progress; or
4. there is only one data point, so a progress assessment cannot be made.

A range of possible indicators are being considered for the ecological friendliness of our built environments, such as looking at the energy efficiency, water usage, and waste management of buildings, because of the impact that these processes have upon the environment and its ecosystems. In order to capture the spirit of this idea in a measure, further development will need to be undertaken. We will continue to explore options for a suitable indicator in the future.

There is more to healthy built environments than their ecologically friendly nature. Unfortunately though, many of the other elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.
A data gap currently exists for access to services and amenities in our built environments

In MAP there are several types of data gaps where:
1. the concept is not yet developed enough to measure;
2. the concept is important for progress but may not lend itself to meaningful measurement;
3. there is no data of sufficient quality to inform on progress; or
4. there is only one data point, so a progress assessment cannot be made.

We propose to use the proportion of people who have difficulty accessing services due to lack of adequate services in their area or transport problems as a progress indicator for the access to services and amenities element in the future, when sufficient data becomes available for us to assess whether progress has been made.

There is more to healthy built environments than access to services and amenities. Unfortunately though, many of the other elements of healthy built environments remain hard to measure, and are data gaps. Look through the other tabs on this page to see what these important elements are.

Check out our further info page for useful links, a glossary and references relating to this chapter.

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