Last week Active Living NSW held the 2018 FitNSW conference titled Placemakers and Cityshapers: the pathway to active and healthy communities. This was an incredibly well-attended conference with health professionals, planners, designers, architects and transport professionals from local government, State government and the private sector listening to ways collaboration and innovation can create more walkable and healthy places.
The issues canvassed and discussed at the conference were timely given the prominence of planning issues in the media lately. The conference was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 18 March 2018 (‘Motorway madness’ named main threat to residents, by Kate Burke). Professor Peter Newman, one of the keynote speakers, was critical of big spending road infrastructure projects and said,
“More walking is what we desperately need to maintain our health. The big threat to life expectancy in the developed world is a lack of walking and the obesity issues.”
Case studies were presented to illustrate ways to engage the community and achieve great outcomes, such as the Jonas Street Parklet Trial in Richmond, Victoria (illustrated above).