The aim of the Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Hub (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.
A new series published in The Lancet, led by the University of Melbourne and featuring authors from leading global academic institutions, quantifies for the first time the health outcomes that could be gained through changes to urban design and the transport systemNews
In partnership with The Lancet and the MJA, we present the inaugural Australian Countdown assessment of progress on climate change and health.News
Submissions for manuscripts are open for a Special Issue in the journal Sustainability. Submissions close 31st May 2019.Special Issue
The Asian Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) has opened applications for a May 2019 Workshop on 'Integrating health into urban planning towards sustainable development goals in developing countries', to be hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The deadline for applications closes on 15th December 2018.Workshop
Calls for abstracts are open for the 2019 Women's Issues in Transportation Conference, to be held in Irvine, California from September 10th to 13th 2019.News
This study from the Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Hub (THUD) explores the safety in numbers (SiN) effect for cyclists, and sets out to validate the results of prior simulation studies in a real-world environment.Publication
THUD Research Fellows Dr Jasper Wijnands and Dr Haifeng Zhao have been invited to present a seminar at Tongji University in Shanghai in October.News
Infrastructure Victoria have released the Evidence Base that will form the basis of their advice to the State Government on automated and zero emissions vehicle infrastructure.News
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.Publication
WCTRS-Y is a one-day conference which will be held on the first day of the World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR), at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, on 26th May 2019.News
To meet the major challenges of the 21st century, cities will not only need to accommodate the growing population but also respond to the challenges of ageing and insufficient infrastructure, growing inequities particularly on the urban fringe, climate change and increasing rates of non-communicable disease. Building cities that are sustainable, productive and capable of delivering an environment conducive to health and wellbeing is an urgent priority.Lecture
Elsevier's Automated Vehicle Research Hub has compiled a series of relevant recent articles on the topic of autonomous vehicle research. Follow the links below to read the articles, free to access until September 30th, 2018.News
Published in the Sydney Morning Herald, by Nigel Gladstone. Artificial intelligence that was trained in Australia has "returned" from a virtual tour of 1692 cities around the world with data to show which are the most similar to Sydney and Melbourne. The results are not what humans expected. The machine saw similarities that have escaped human perception such as areas in the Sydney suburbs of Auburn, Ingleburn, Artarmon and Kogarah that strongly resembled Paris.Article
Bringing transport networks into the 21st century means connecting all elements of the network - from the vehicles to the traffic lights, and even the pavements. This article relates to the AIMES (Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem) Research Project, from the Melbourne School of Engineering.Article
Call for Papers are open for the Urban Transitions 2018 Conference: Integrating urban and transport planning, environment and health for healthier urban living. Conference to be held 25-27 November, 2018 in Sitges, Spain.News
Call for Papers are open for the 40th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) Conference, to be held in Darwin in the Northern Territory from 30 October to 1 November 2018.News
The World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) has announced that calls for papers are open for the 15th World Conference, which will be held from 26-31 May 2019 in MUMBAI (India).News
The THUD Research Hub's Dr John Stone and Dr Crystal Legacy present 'Planning the Driverless City: Questions for Governments and Planners'. Presented in conjunction with Dr Jan Sheurer and Prof Carey Curtis from Curtin University.News
The Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Hub congratulates Dr Kerry Nice, a THUD Research Fellow who has been awarded the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning's 2016 Graham Treloar Early Career Researcher Fellowship.News
This is an event that will be held on Tuesday 31st October 2017, from 6:00pm-7:30pm AEDT Hosted by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI)Event
Prof Mark Stevenson and Prof Chris Ryan talk to The Science Show about how we can work with today's cities to ensure a healthier, more sustainable future. Presented by Robyn Williams. Listen via The Science Show on ABC Radio National.Podcast
Prof Mark Stevenson discusses (6min 40sec mark) the issue of how to convince people to choose public transport over their own cars. Presented by Sonya Feldhoff.Podcast
Prof Mark Stevenson on ABC Radio National's Blueprint for Living program on how we can modify our cities to minimise our dependence on cars. Presented by Jonathon Green. Listen via ABC Radio National.Podcast
We are excited to announce that a research team led by THUD’s Dr John Stone has been awarded a University of Melbourne Engagement Grant to investigate how driverless cars will shape our cities.Announcement
Urban public health researcher Prof Mark Stevenson describes the better human health outcomes to be had in cities that emphasize active transport modes like cycling and walking, while discouraging dependence on cars. Presented by Lynne Haultain.Podcast
The THUD Research Hub 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 Hub 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.
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.
- Dovey, K & Pafka, E (2019) What is walkability? The urban DMA, Urban Studies, doi: 10.1177/0042098018819727
- 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.