Key messages

  • Built environments have an influence on the health and wellbeing of the population.
  • Land use design encourages more people to include walking or cycling in their daily routines.
  • A council’s health and wellbeing plan needs to be consistent with the corporate plan of the council and the council land use plan.

Environments in which people live, work, study and have their recreation can be designed or altered to increase physical activity, healthy eating, and safety and wellbeing.

Influence over the built environment is considered a key preventive health strategy in encouraging healthy physical activities such as cycling and walking.

There is also a growing evidence base linking the natural environment with good physical health and psychological wellbeing.

Land use design

Land use design can support safe, socially cohesive and inclusive communities and healthy lifestyles. This includes pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods, accessible open spaces for recreation and leisure, networks of high quality cycling paths, conveniently located public transport and food environments that encourage healthy diets.

Environments for Health

Environments for Health provides a standard reference for councils for planning liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities.

Healthy by Design

The Heart Foundation Victoria’s Healthy by Design: A planners’ guide to environments for active living assists councils to implement urban design principles that create healthy and active local communities.

Alignment of the MPHWP with councils’ land use plans

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires council MPHWPs to be consistent with the corporate plans of the councils and the councils’ land use plans as required by the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS).