What is the HBEP?
The Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) is an exciting initiative that brings the built environment and health together. The HBEP, which was funded by the NSW Ministry of Health from 2010-2014, is situated within the City Futures Research Centre in the UNSW BE. As Australia faces increasing health costs from rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, health and built environment professionals are seeking to influence the design of cities to make them more supportive of healthy ways of living. Recent research has demonstrated links between modern epidemics and the way of life in cities. Car-dominated transport, reduced opportunities for exercise, increased fast food availability and lack of social connection are all implicated. Increasingly the health sector is focusing on prevention and to be effective, health professionals need to work in collaboration with other professional groups, such as those from the built environment.
The HBEP aims to revitalise the relationship between the built environment and health professions so that together we can create built environments that support people being healthy in their everyday lives.
Click on the links below to view our posters on the HBEP, displayed at LuminoCity in 2012.
The Healthy Built Environments Program vision is that built environments will be planned, designed, developed and managed to promote and protect health for all people.
HBEP Focus Areas
The HBEP has three main areas of focus:
- Research – the HBEP fosters interdisciplinary research which is policy relevant. A major scholarly literature review has been completed which identifies gaps in current knowledge. A research strategy to prioritise key research questions has been developed.
- Education and Workforce Development – the HBEP delivers innovative, cross disciplinary education and capacity building. Workshops, seminars and interactive forums are delivered to health and built environment professionals in NSW. E-learning modules are provided. Educational approaches also build on the Faculty of the Built Environment's ‘Healthy Planning’ and 'Healthy Built Environments' courses. Postgraduate research students are engaged in significant healthy built environment projects.
- Leadership and Advocacy – the HBEP advocates for closer links between health and the built environment. This involves government and non-government agencies, the private sector and the community. There has been an emphasis on education through scholarly publications disseminating the latest research, popular media articles, talks and events.
In late 2013 through to 2014, the HBEP underwent an extensive evaluation. Documentation, including a ‘Key Achievements’ report and summary of capacity building evaluations, was prepared by the HBEP. A portfolio showcasing the Program’s body of work was also submitted for assessment. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders were undertaken by NSW Health staff as part of the evaluation. In addition, a site visit to the HBEP by independent reviewers was conducted. The Ministry of Health released its HBEP Evaluation Report in September 2014. The findings are overwhelmingly positive – the HBEP has been an effective force for advancing healthy built environments in NSW. Read the Evaluation Report here.