The City Future’s Research Centre is home to an exciting new initiative which brings the built environment and health together. The NSW Department of Health will provide funding of $1.5m over five years for the establishment of a Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP). The Program will foster interdisciplinary research, deliver innovative education and workforce development, and provide leadership on health and the built environment.

Associate Professor Susan Thompson will co-direct the HBEP with public health physician Professor Anthony Capon who is joining the Faculty as a Visiting Professor. The Co-Directors are supported by a great team of FBE colleagues, including the Centre for Health Assets Australasia (CHAA), and external partners from government, industry and non-government organisations across the built environment and health sectors.

The set up phase over the next six months will see the appointment of a full-time project officer, development of a Program web site, as well as a literature review to identify knowledge gaps, and an audit of what is already happening across the NSW Health sector in healthy built environments work.

The HBEP team have also been successful in attracting additional research funding which will consolidate the Faculty’s involvement in this emerging research field: a two year Australian Research Council Linkage grant “Planning and Building Healthy Communities” totalling $535,000 with partners Landcom, the National Heart Foundation and the South West Sydney Area Health Service and a $39,000 one year grant from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute to set up an Investigative Panel to examine the impacts of housing on health.