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Wednesday, January 10
Wed, Jan 10, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Crystal Ballroom CD & Prefunction
Welcome Reception & Poster Session I

Developing a flexible, high resolution and policy-relevant composite index of urban liveability in Australia (304232)

Hannah Badland, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT  
Billie Giles-Corti, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT 
*Carl Christopher Higgs, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT 
Koen Simons, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Melbourne 

Keywords: Population health planning,Social determinants of health,Demography,Needs assessment,Built environment,Poverty,Equity,Epidemiology,Spatial analysis,Composite indicator,Liveability,Urban planning,Policy,Bias

Urban liveability is increasingly recognised in state and federal urban planning policies as a built environment determinant of population health and wellbeing. However, use of aggregate data for calculation of the liveability construct is fraught with risk of ecological bias. This paper reports on the development of a policy-relevant composite indicator of urban liveability calculated for residential parcels, allowing for flexible aggregation and assessment of within-area variation. This pilot liveability index (LI) was conceptualised using a socio-ecological framework, and a scripted workflow for calculation and database management was developed. The index was calculated for 1,554,590 address points in Melbourne, Australia using 2011 as a target point for data, using two distinct approaches to measure destination access: hard cut-offs (HCLI); and logistic ‘soft’ decay (SDLI). Heterogeneity in estimates accrued when aggregated to meshblock level (the smallest statistical area aggregation) and Statistical Area 1 (SA1; a larger, population balanced statistical region) was compared using the global average ratio of within- to between-area variation (GHtR) at the respective scales.