The aim of the Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Lab (THUD) is to explore the effects of urban form and transport on the health of city residents.
The structure of cities and neighbourhoods greatly influences the experiences and opportunities of residents, which in turn affects health and wellbeing, and ultimately the social, economic and environmental impact of the city.
For policy makers, urban designers/planners, and transport planners who shape our rapidly expanding cities, minimising exposure to health risks while maintaining or enhancing the mobility and accessibility of city residents needs to be a priority.
The THUD Research Lab comprises a cross-disciplinary research team, exploring how the effects of urban form and transportation influence the health of residents in cities.
Planning the driverless city: What autonomous vehicles mean for Australasian cities
Autonomous vehicles may improve road safety, reduce car ownership, and reduce the need for parking. They may also entrench car dependency, encourage sprawl and shift investment away from vital public transport systems.
Safer cycling in the urban road environment
The study is the first comprehensive study in Australia that combines academic, government and community efforts to enhance cycling activity while addressing safety concerns.
Effects of feedback and incentive-based insurance on driving behaviours
The broader funded project is the first experimental study to examine the extent to which direct-feedback and incentive-based insurance modify a driver's behaviour.
Low-Carbon Living Co-benefits Calculator
The aim of this project is to develop and trial a prototype low-carbon precinct co-benefits calculator for use by urban planners and designers.The calculator will estimate co-benefits associated with gains (or losses) in health, productivity, and pollution from a range of alternative precinct designs and transport/land use configurations.
Western Suburbs Transport Studio
What’s best for the west? Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 and alternative transport futures for Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Networks and Space: Autonomous Vehicles in Suburban Melbourne
Assessing the spatial implications of Autonomous Vehicles as feeders to railway stations in suburban Melbourne
These web tools have been designed to allow users to explore, visualise, and understand the applications of THUD research.
Estimating the Health Benefits of Compact Cities
A Healthy Cities Scenario Planner
Explore the role of cycling infrastructure on car vs bicycle crashes
Explore where and when every recorded car vs cyclist crash has occurred in Victoria between 2010 and June 2017
Low Carbon Living Co-benefits Calculator
A prototype for low-carbon precinct design
AwaP-IC – An Open-source GIS Tool for Measuring Walkable Access
AwaP-IC is a QGIS tool that calculates the Area-weighted average Perimeter (AwaP) and Interface Catchment (IC), which combined, capture the capacities of urban morphologies to enable and attract pedestrian movement
For policy makers, urban designers/planners, and transport planners who shape our rapidly expanding cities, minimising exposure to health risks while maintaining or enhancing the mobility and accessibility of city residents needs to be a priority. The structure of a city and especially the local neighbourhood greatly influence a resident’s experiences and opportunities, which in turn impacts their health and wellbeing, and ultimately the social, economic and environmental impact of the city.
The Lab focuses on two broad research themes:
New Urban Access and Mobility
New urban access and mobility encompasses elements associated with innovation in the planning and delivery of public transport, innovations associated with safe, inclusive and sustainable transport as well as exploring the institutional and governance requirements to achieve a reformed agenda at the local, state and federal-levels. This will identify approaches (including policy, planning and governance) that will lead to healthier and more sustainable urban environments. Specifically, the theme’s objectives include:
- innovation in planning and delivery of public transport both at the local and cross-city levels
- accessibility and land-uses that are conducive to health and wellbeing
- innovation in safe and sustainable transport
- identifying and seeking solutions to institutional and political barriers to healthy and sustainable urban mobility in Australian cities
Urban Design, Walkability and Health
Public health challenges such as premature deaths due to excess weight and obesity have been shown to be associated with city-design and levels of physical activity of its residents. Promoting an active community with high levels of wellbeing requires radically different strategic approaches to urban transformation, necessitating innovative urban design; urban design that brings together modelling and an understanding of network connectivity, urban microclimate and comfort, UV exposure and access to daylight, air quality, and a sense of place and social infrastructure alongside transport and density distribution. While the general relationship of walking to public health is well established, the specific ways in which walkability is geared to urban morphology are less understood. This theme will place a specific focus on:
- developing metrics, modelling and mapping of urban design dimensions of walkability, including density, functional mix, access and microclimate
- exploring the opportunities and barriers to transit-oriented urban designs, including property markers and urban design frameworks
- identifying and developing design innovation for walking, cycling and transit oriented urban design.
Lancet Special Series
City planning and population health: A global challenge
Significant global health challenges are being confronted in the 21st century, prompting calls to rethink approaches to disease prevention. A key part of the solution is city planning that reduces non-communicable diseases and road trauma while also managing rapid urbanisation.
Land use, transport, and population health: estimating the health benefits of compact cities
Using a health impact assessment framework, we estimated the population health effects arising from alternative land-use and transport policy initiatives in six cities.
Use of science to guide city planning policy and practice
The primary recommendation of this paper is for cities to actively pursue compact and mixed-use urban designs that encourage a transport modal shift away from private motor vehicles towards walking, cycling, and public transport.
The MJA-Lancet Countdown on health and climate change
In partnership with The Lancet and the MJA, we present the inaugural Australian Countdown assessment of progress on climate change and health. Publication
Effects of feedback and incentive-based insurance on driving behaviours
Road injury is the leading cause of death for young people, with human error a contributing factor in many crash events. This research is the first experimental study to examine the extent to which direct feedback and incentive-based insurance modifies a driver's behaviour.
Pedestrian Crossing Environments in an Emerging Chinese City
While pedestrian crossings play a vital role in providing seamless mobility for pedestrians, they have also continually been spaces of negotiation, contestation, and conflicts between and among different users. This research aims to assess the pedestrian crossing from an operational perspective in one emerging Chinese city, Suzhou.
Identifying safe intersection design through unsupervised feature extraction from satellite imagery
The World Health Organization has listed the design of safer intersections as a key intervention to reduce global road trauma. This article presents the first study to systematically analyze the design of all intersections in a large country, based on aerial imagery and deep learning.
- Wijnands J, Zhao H, Nice K, Thompson J, Scully K, Guo J, Stevenson M. Identifying safe intersection design through unsupervised feature extraction from satellite imagery. Comput Aided Civ Inf. 2020;1–16.
- Stevenson M, Bhalla K. Global road safety: a well-travelled road? International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 2020,27(1): 1-2
- Stevenson M, Thompson J, Wijnands J, Nice K, Aschwanden G, Zhao H. Opportunities to reduce road traffic injury: new insights from the study of urban areas. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 2020, 27(1): 20-26.
- Thompson J, Stevenson M, Wijnands J, Nice K, Aschwanden G, Silver J, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Rayner P, Schofield R, Hariharan R, Morrison C. A global analysis of urban design types and road transport injury: an image processing study. The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020, 4(1): e32-e42.
- Feng YR, Meuleners L, Stevenson M, Heyworth J, Murray K, Maher S. Driver Self-Regulation Practices in Older Drivers with and without Mild Cognitive Impairment. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2020, 15:217-224.
- Nice K, Wijnands J, Middel A, Wamg J, Qiu Y, Zhao N, Thompson J, Aschwanden G, Zhao H, Stevenson M. Sky pixel detection in outdoor imagery using an adaptive algorithm and machine learning, Urban Climate, 2020, 31,100572.
- Stevenson M. Fewer cars, healthier cities. British Medical Journal, 2019, 367
- Aschwanden G, Wijnands J, Thompson J, Nice K, Zhao H, Stevenson M. Learning to walk: Modeling transportation mode choice distribution through neural networks. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 2019, pp. 1–14. doi: 10.1177/2399808319862571.
- Zhao H, Wijnands J, Nice K, Thompson J, Stevenson M. Reducing Cyclist Crashes by Assessing the Road Environment: An Application of Google Imagery and Machine Learning. Journal of Transport & Health, 2019, 14, 100698.
- Beggs P, Stevenson M, et al. The 2019 report of the MJA-Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: a turbulent year with mixed progress. The Medical Journal of Australia, 2019, 211 (11):490- 491 e2 - e49.
- Wijnands J, Thompson J, Nice K, Aschwanden G, Stevenson M. Real-time monitoring of driver drowsiness on mobile platforms using 3-D neural networks. Neural Computing and Applications, 2019.
- Mueller N, Rojas-Rueda D, Khreis H, Cirach M, Andres D, Ballester J, Bartoll X, Daher C, Deluca A, Echave C, Mila C, Marquez S, Palou J, Perez K, Tonne C, Stevenson M, Rueda S, Nieuwenhuijsen Ml. Changing the urban design of cities for health: the superblock model. Environment International, 2019, 134, 105132.
- Meuleners L, Fraser M, Stevenson M, Oxley J, Rose G, Johnson M (2019). Safer cycling and the urban road environment: A case control study. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 129, 342-349.
- Wijnands J, Nice K, Zhao H, Thompson J, Stevenson M (2019). Streetscape augmentation using generative adversarial networks: Insights related to health and wellbeing. Sustainable Cities and Society 49, 101602.
- Beck B, Stevenson MR, Cameron P, et al. (2019) Crash characteristics of on-road single-bicycle crashes: an under-recognised problem. Injury Prevention.
- Broadbent, A. M., Coutts, A. M., Nice, K. A., Demuzere, M., Krayenhoff, E. S., Tapper, N. J., and Wouters, H.: The Air-temperature Response to Green/blue-infrastructure Evaluation Tool (TARGET v1.0): an efficient and user-friendly model of city cooling, Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 785-803.
- Dovey, K. & Pafka, E. (2019) What is walkability? The urban DMA, Urban Studies.
- Majic, I. & Pafka, E. (2019) AwaP-IC - An Open-Source GIS Tool for Measuring Walkable Access. Urban Science 3(2): 1-14.
- Wang F, Chen Y, Guo J, Yu R, Stevenson M, Zhao H. Middle-aged Drivers' subjective categorization for combined alignments on mountainous freeways and their speed choices. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 2019, 127:80-86.
- Thompson J, Scully K, Wijnands J, Stevenson M, Mavoa S. Evidence for the ‘safety in density’ effect for cyclists: validation of agent-based modelling results. Injury Prevention, 2019, 25:379-385.
- Fan, P., Guo, J., Zhao, H., Wijnands, J., and Wang, Y. (2019). ‘Car-following modeling incorporating driving memory based on autoencoder and Long Short-Term Memory neural networks’, Sustainability 11.6755.
- Curtis, C, Stone, J., Legacy, C. & Ashmore, D. (2019). 'Governance of Future Urban Mobility: A Research Agenda', Urban Policy and Research, pp. 1—12.
- Legacy, C. & Stone, J. (2019). 'Consensus planning in transport: The case of Vancouver's transportation plebiscite', Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, vol. 120, pp. 295—305.
- Legacy, C., Ashmore, D., Scheurer, J., Stone, J and Curtis, C (2018). 'Planning the driverless city',Transport Reviews, pp. 1—19.
- Stone, J., Legacy, C. and Curtis, C (2019). ‘The Future Driverless City?’, Planning Theory and Practice, 18:5, 753-778.
- Runing Ye, Jonas DeVos, Liang Ma (2020). ‘Analysing the association of dissonance between actual and ideal commute time and commute satisfaction.’ Transport Research Part A: Policy and Practice 132, pp. 47-62.
- Runing Ye, Helena Titheridge (2019). ‘The determinants of commuting satisfaction in low-income population: A case study of Xi'an, China.’ Travel Behaviour and Society 16, pp. 272-283.
- Liang Ma, Runing Ye (2019). ‘Does daily commuting behaviour matter to employee productivity?’ Journal of Transport Geography 76, pp.130 – 141.
- Stanley, J. & Stanley, J. Balbontin, C. & Hensher, D. (2019). ‘Social exclusion: The role of mobility and bridging social capital in regional Australia’, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 125, 223-233.
- Coenen, L., Davidson, K., & Gleeson, B. (2019). Situating C40 in the Evolution of Networked Urban Climate Governance. GLOBAL POLICY, 10(4), 723-725.
- Davidson, K., Coenen, L., Acuto, M., & Gleeson, B. (2019). Reconfiguring urban governance in an age of rising city networks: A research agenda. Urban Studies, 56(16), 3540-3555.
- Davidson, K., Coenen, L., & Gleeson, B. (2019). A Decade of C40: Research Insights and Agendas for City Networks. GLOBAL POLICY, 10(4), 697-708
- Ashmore, D. P., Stone, J., & Kirk, Y. (2018). The need for greater transparency when assessing the performance and prospects of Melbourne’s rail franchise contracts. Urban Policy and Research, 1-15.
- Davern, M., Gunn, L., Whitzman, C., Higgs, C., Giles-Corti, B., Simons, K., . . . Badland, H. (2018). Using spatial measures to test a conceptual model of social infrastructure that supports health and wellbeing. Cities & Health, 1(2), 194-209.
- Hulme, A., Thompson, J., Nielsen, R. O., Read, G. J. M., & Salmon, P. M. (2018). Towards a complex systems approach in sports injury research: simulating running-related injury development with agent-based modelling. British Journal of Sports Medicine, published online 18 June 2018.
- Kim, H. M., & Mateo-Babiano, I. (2018). Pedestrian crossing environments in an emerging Chinese city: Vehicle encountering, seamless walking, and sensory perception perspectives. Sustainability, 10(7), 1-17.
- Lawrence, B. M., Oxley, J. A., Logan, D. B., & Stevenson, M. R. (2018). Cyclist exposure to the risk of car door collisions in mixed function activity centers: A study in Melbourne, Australia. Traffic Injury Prevention, 19, S164-S168.
- Legacy, C., Ashmore, D., Scheurer, J., Stone, J., & Curtis, C. (2018). Planning the driverless city. Transport Reviews, published online 20 Apr 2018.
- Lowe, M., Whitzman, C., & Giles-Corti, B. (2018). Health-Promoting Spatial Planning: Approaches for Strengthening Urban Policy Integration. Planning Theory & Practice, 19(2), 180-197.
- Mortimer, D., Wijnands, J. S., Harris, A., Tapp, A., & Stevenson, M. (2018). The effect of ‘smart’ financial incentives on driving behaviour of novice drivers. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 119, 68-79.
- Nice, K. A., Coutts, A. M., & Tapper, N. J. (2018). Development of the VTUF-3D v1.0 urban micro-climate model to support assessment of urban vegetation influences on human thermal comfort. Urban Climate, published online 12 Jan 2018.
- Stevenson, M., Harris, A., Mortimer, D., Wijnands, J. S., Tapp, A., Peppard, F., & Buckis, S. (2018). The effects of feedback and incentive-based insurance on driving behaviours: study approach and protocols. Injury Prevention, 24(1), 89-93.
- Stevenson, M., & Gleeson, B. (2018). Complex Urban Systems: Compact Cities, Transport and Health. In M. Nieuwenhuijsen & H. Khreis (Eds.), Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning: A Framework (pp. 271-285). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
- Stone, J., Ashmore, D., Scheurer, J., Legacy, C., & Curtis, C. (2018). Planning for Disruptive Transport Technologies: How Prepared Are Australian Transport Agencies? In G. Marsden & L. Reardon (Eds.), Governance of the Smart Mobility Transition (pp. 123-137): Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Thompson, J. H., Wijnands, J. S., Mavoa, S., Scully, K., & Stevenson, M. R. (2018). Evidence for the ‘safety in density’ effect for cyclists: validation of agent-based modelling results. Injury Prevention, Published online 12 October 2018.
- Wijnands, J. S., Thompson, J., Aschwanden, G., & Stevenson, M. (2018). Identifying behavioural change among drivers using Long Short-Term Memory recurrent neural networks. Transportation Research Part F-Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 53, 34-49.
- Beck, B., Ekegren, C. L., Cameron, P., Edwards, E. R., Bucknill, A., Judson, R., Page, R., Hau, R., Stevenson, M., & Gabbe, B. J. (2017). Predictors of recovery in cyclists hospitalised for orthopaedic trauma following an on-road crash. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 106, 341-347.
- Legacy, C. (2017). The post‐politics of transport: establishing a new meeting ground for transport politics. Geographical Research, 56(2), 196-205.
- Newnam, S., Warmerdam, A., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M., & Stevenson, M. (2017). Do management practices support or constrain safe driving behaviour? A multi-level investigation in a sample of occupational drivers. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 102, 101-109.
- Pafka, E (2017) 'Integration is not walkability' Space Syntax Symposium, Lisbon 3-7 July.
- Pafka, E & Dovey, K (2017) ‘Permeability and interface catchment: measuring and mapping walkable access', Journal of Urbanism, 10(2): 150-162.
- Thompson, J., Wijnands, J. S., Savino, G., Lawrence, B., & Stevenson, M. (2017). Estimating the safety benefit of separated cycling infrastructure adjusted for behavioral adaptation among drivers; an application of agent-based modelling. Transportation Research Part F-Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 49, 18-28.
- Warmerdam, A., Newnam, S., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M., & Stevenson, M. (2017). Workplace road safety risk management: An investigation into Australian practices. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 98, 64-73.
- Warmerdam, A., Newnam, S., Sheppard, D., Griffin, M., & Stevenson, M. (2017). A new approach to managing work-related road traffic injury: The development of a health investment framework. Traffic Injury Prevention, 18(6), 631-635.
- Giles-Corti, B., Vernez-Moudon, A., Reis, R., Turrell, G., Dannenberg, A. L., Badland, H., . . . Owen, N. (2016). City planning and population health: a global challenge. The Lancet, 388(10062), 2912-2924.
- Mateo-Babiano, I., Bean, R., Corcoran, J., & Pojani, D. (2016). How does our natural and built environment affect the use of bicycle sharing? Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 94, 295-307.
- Thompson, J., Savino, G., & Stevenson, M. (2016). A model of behavioural adaptation as a contributor to the safety-in-numbers effect for cyclists. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 85, 65-75.
- Sallis, J. F., Bull, F., Burdett, R., Frank, L. D., Griffiths, P., Giles-Corti, B., & Stevenson, M. (2016). Use of science to guide city planning policy and practice: how to achieve healthy and sustainable future cities. The Lancet, 388(10062), 2936-2947.
- Stevenson, M., Thompson, J., de Sá, T. H., Ewing, R., Mohan, D., McClure, R., . . . Woodcock, J. (2016). Land use, transport, and population health: estimating the health benefits of compact cities. The Lancet, 388(10062), 2925-2935.