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Reading: Designing high-density neighbourhoods to promote social health in Australia


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Designing high-density neighbourhoods to promote social health in Australia


Caitlin Hall ,

Deakin University, AU
About Caitlin
Health & Safety Coordinator at IBM Australia. Has completed a Bachelor degree in Health Science, and has recently completed a Master of Public Health degree at Deakin University.
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Fiona Andrews

Deakin University
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Australian urban environments are changing, as increasing numbers of people are moving into high-density dwellings. At the same time solo living is the fastest growing household type in the country. Given the relationship between social isolation, loneliness and health, this literature review aimed to investigate how high-density neighbourhoods can be designed to promote social health in Australia. Using a systematic approach, ten databases were searched for peer-reviewed research, published between 2008-2018, resulting in eleven articles that met the inclusion criteria. The articles were appraised using four evidence-based tools, and the findings suggested four major themes that relate to social health and the design of high-density neighbourhoods; ‘urban form’, ‘public facilities’, ‘third places’ and ‘green space’. Analysis of three national sets of guidelines relating to cities and urban planning revealed an overall absence of consideration of these four design elements in relation to social health. This review therefore recommends that social health considerations be embedded into current national planning policies and guidelines to assist in the development of more socially inclusive, new high-density neighbourhoods in Australia.
How to Cite: Hall, C. and Andrews, F., 2019. Designing high-density neighbourhoods to promote social health in Australia. Journal of Social Inclusion, 10(2), pp.18–40. DOI:
Published on 20 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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