Improving health and social infrastructure for all Australians is an ongoing challenge for urban and regional planners and decision makers. Data is crucial to informed and evidence-based decision-making however we lack a national data asset with the health indicators required to enable this.
The Australian Urban Health Indicators (AusUrb-HI) project is developing a suite of new indicator data assets to help improve health and social infrastructure planning in urban and regional Australia.
The project integrates Population Health Research Network (PHRN) Health Outcomes Data with Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) Health Determinants data, including demographic, socioeconomic, health service and environmental data. This improves the understanding of the health of Australian urban and regional populations.
De-identified data will be integrated in the Secure Unified Research Environment at the Sax Institute to deliver new insight by linking health outcomes and their determinants for improved health planning and decision making.
The project involves three elements.
Cancer determinants – Working with the Australian Cancer Atlas, AusUrb-HI will develop indicators quantifying the association between demographic, socioeconomic, health services and environmental determinants to the incidence and survival rates for major types of cancer for urban and regional areas across Australia.
Heat health vulnerability – AusUrb-HI will develop a population heat health vulnerability indicator that combines data on population demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, health and environmental conditions in order to understand the locations of greatest population vulnerability to current (and potentially future) extreme heat events.
Urban liveability and health – In collaboration with the RMIT Centre for Urban Research, AusUrb-HI will generate indicators that give new insight into the liveability of Australian urban and regional areas from a health perspective.
Who Will Benefit
Researchers, research organisations, government agencies (state and commonwealth), urban and regional planners, data analysts will benefit from the project’s core features:
- improved health planning – the new indicators and metrics generated by AusUrb-HI will provide invaluable insight to data-driven and evidence-based policy-making and planning in local, state and federal health and social infrastructure planning departments
- improved health outcomes – improved health planning will lead to more liveable neighbourhoods, improved health services, more targeted interventions, a reduction in preventable diseases and a reduction in the economic costs associated with preventable diseases in Australia
- ignition of transdisciplinary research – enhanced accessibility to the new indicators and computational methods will catalyse future research and projects that are extensible across regions, disciplines and health issues.
Australian Urban Health Indicators is a collaboration between AURIN, PHRN, the ARDC and researchers.
The new indicators and metrics will provide invaluable insight to data-driven and evidence-based policy-making and planning in local, state and commonwealth health and social infrastructure planning departments. This will lead to improved health outcomes such as more liveable neighbourhoods, improved health services, more targeted interventions, a reduction in preventable diseases and a reduction in the economic costs associated with preventable diseases in Australia.
Read AURIN’s October 2023 update Acquisition of key data for the Australian Urban Health Indicator project.