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Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities (Australia)

October 29, 2008

Current ICLEI Oceania activities such as the decade-long CCP Australia program and the Water Campaign™ , Integrated Sustainability Services – are increasingly recognising the importance of a triple bottom line approach that uses urban planning opportunities to build sustainable communities.

New Social Sustainability Program in Australia

Now ICLEI Oceania is establishing a new social sustainability program: Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities (CSHC). This new program helps local governments foster healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable communities. The Oceania Secretariat is very excited to be able to extend the decade of action and learning in sustainability to an equally important area of creating safe and healthy communities.

The power to create vibrant environment

Local government’s powers in land use and planning, regulation, community engagement – and in facilitating local partnerships – help create vibrant places for people and the environment. Many goals for fostering healthy communities match ICLEI’s goals in environmental sustainability.

From environmental sustainability...

For example, 60% of car trips in the city of Victoria (Australia) are less than two kilometers. Using local government’s land use and planning powers to develop cycle paths, undertake walkability audits and encourage community hubs as destinations for walking all enhance physical activity and decrease obesity levels while reducing car travel and CO2 emissions.

...to social sustainability

Tobacco smoking is another example, with huge environmental impacts from smoking butt litter and increases in outdoor heating for designated smoking areas.

Recruiting councils to establish Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities

Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities will assist local governments to build this capacity across their council operations by using effective and sustainable health planning functions. The Oceania Secretariat is currently recruiting councils in the establishment phase of the Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities program, which will focus on minimising the harms from alcohol, drugs and tobacco.

Based on a milestone framework

The initiative, underpinned by an evidence-based approach, will use a milestone framework to build the data on local level harms and help councils to plan effective strategies that encourage vibrant, multi-purpose cities. This will reduce environmental costs and health impacts from binge drinking, tobacco use and illegal drug use.

More information

Please contact Mark Boyd, Director – Cities for Safe and Healthy Communities. oceania@iclei.org

A CSHC webpage is coming soon to the ICLEI Oceania website.