Living it up? Evaluating the potential impact of a new apartment design policy on health and well-being
ISPAH ePoster Library. Foster S. Oct 15, 2018; 225560; 418
Sarah Foster
Sarah Foster
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Abstract Introduction:<\b>
Apartment construction surpassed traditional detached housing in Australia for the first time in 2016. This change is supported by health promotion agencies, as increases in residential density underpin the destinations that encourage active living. However, the rapid construction of apartments has ignited concern about apartment design quality. In response, the Western Australian government will introduce a new apartment design policy in 2018, with minimum standards to create more functional and healthier dwellings. This study benchmarks current apartment development in Perth against the incoming policy aspirations. Methods:<\b>
Apartment buildings in Perth (n=22, 3+ storeys, built 2006-2016) were sampled from areas with different levels of socio-economic disadvantage and access to destinations. Building residents completed a survey (n=315), including questions on their apartment and health behaviours and outcomes. Building plans were used to create policy-specific objective measures to benchmark apartments against the incoming policy, and GIS was used to assess the neighbourhood context. Results:<\b>
Preliminary results reveal the Perth apartment market is delivering a product that caters to a specific population (respondents were predominantly young adults, singles/couples without children). Policy-specific objective measures reveal little diversity in the apartment stock (e.g., just 5% of apartments had three bedrooms); but average apartment sizes achieve the new policy minimum standards (e.g., one bedroom apartment mean=49m2; Design WA minimum=47m2). Conclusion:<\b>
By bench-marking the delivery of an apartment design policy, and testing its impact on health, this study will assess the potential health and well-being benefits of a policy shift towards more comprehensive apartment design guidance. External funding details DE160100140
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