Communities that are walkable and support healthy, active modes of living could be the way of the future for Australia.

As health issues in modern society continue to grow, it is crucial that developers and planners design well-connected, walkable spaces that will get the community active.

“Walking makes for healthier communities because it connects people to shared space,” Mike Day, urban designer of Williams Landing, told The Urban Developer.

Williams Landing, a new community only 19km from Melbourne’s CBD, features four residential spaces framed around a mixed-use town centre and transport facilities. The urban hub sees homes placed within walking distance of a medical centre, pharmacy and dental clinic.

“We wanted to design a vibrant, self-contained community that offered most of the services and activities people needed within 10 minutes’ walk from home” Nathan Blackburne of Cedar Woods said.

Close proximity to a functional town centre with key health facilities will help residents to avoid increasing issues such as obesity and social isolation.

According to the National Heart Foundation, insufficient physical activity is the second-leading risk fact associated with disease in Australia.

Vital research co-conducted by The University of Melbourne into the impacts of urban design on health has reinforced calls to make wellbeing a priority in planning legislation.

The health benefits of living in a compact, pedestrian-friendly space are significant, and with increases in sedentary lifestyles worldwide, developments like Williams Landing are an important step in the right direction.

For the full story, see The Urban Developer.