Monday, 10 September 2012

Who will benefit from the POS tool?

·     1. State and local planners and land developers

            There is growing recognition in government and in the urban planning sector of the role that the built form can play in community health and well being. The recent State of Australian Cities report for example, emphasised the importance of planning for livability and quality of life, and the need for city environments that encourage physically active lifestyles. Sectors and organisations involved in the planning and provision of urban infrastructure can benefit from the project through direct access to data and ability to interrogate information through a user friendly interface; and through access to research findings and translation of research utilising the POS TOOL.

2. Public Health, social sciences, geography and other researchers 

      Benefits to researchers in health 
Many of the factors that most influence health exist outside the sphere of the health sector, and there is growing evidence base substantiating the multiple ways in which the built environment (which includes availability and amenity of parks and open space) impacts on health. The type of data collected and used by health researchers typically focuses on health outcomes, behaviours or interventions, and objective measures of the physical environments in which people live are often difficult or cost prohibitive to access. 

Benefits to other research - The POS TOOL and POS data is relevant to research in a number of disciplines, including geography, urban planning, social policy, natural resource management and economics and regional development. Examples of application could include: exploring the economic benefits of POS and more specifically the relationship between house prices and presence/absence of POS and POS amenities.

      Other research groups could similarly utilise the POS TOOL to interrogate and export data into existing datasets to investigate their own research questions (for example the Cardiovascular Health research group at UWA could investigate the relationship between cardiovascular outcomes, physical activity and POS accessibility).
3. The community

The broader community stands to benefit in a number ways from the research and planning applications arising from the project. Benefits include:

i. better planning outcomes for community wellbeing, quality of life and recreation in terms of park/POS provision/quality and access. This has flow on benefits for both physical health (via physical activity, walking, sport, active play for children) and mental health (via access to nature, settings for relaxation and social interaction)
ii. greater transparency in terms of inequity or inadequate accessibility of POS for particular areas or population groups, and a tool for benchmarking improvements to address this

The general public will also benefit from a visual, interactive presentation of the POS in their area and surrounding regions.

1 comment:

  1. link/cite to 'State of Australian Cities' report?

    Might want to be careful with the use of acronyms, especially POS.

    Wanting some examples for what kinds of health data for parks already exist, perhaps some links as well?

    What are POS amenities?

    The public benefits should be highlighted more, maybe with a couple of pictures, so many creative commons images you could use of parks out there to make this a bit more engaging as the content is good.