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Stuart Ord Director Healthy Parks Healthy People, Parks Victoria Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Stuart Ord Director Healthy Parks Healthy People, Parks Victoria Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stuart Ord Director Healthy Parks Healthy People, Parks Victoria Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference 2011

2 It’s a simple message Healthy Parks: environmental benefits achieved through conserving, protecting and enhancing biodiversity and cultural values Healthy People: health, well being and other societal benefits associated with the range of experiences and opportunities available


4 Evidence linking health and the natural environment The evidence shows that the natural environment has three main affects on humans: Increases Physical activity Reduces Chronic Stress Strengthens Communities Studies have shown an increase in greenery directly relates to a decrease in obesity

5 Current health issues: Obesity Almost half (48.6%) of Victorian adults are overweight or obese By 2025, 83% of Victorian men and 75% of women will be overweight or obese.




9 A connection understood … ‘a national domain for rest and recreation…’a sanctuary for pale faced Sydneyites feeling the physical, mental and social pollution of the densely packed city’ Royal National Park, 1879

10 “Abundant evidence is available to substantiate the views of city planners, the medical profession, and psychologists that proper outdoor recreation has a most beneficial effect on the health, morals, and business efficiency of communities… The problem presented to the commission was not whether recreational facilities were necessary, but what area of open spaces would be required to serve the population….” Plan of General Development Melbourne 1929

11 Societal, Economic & Environmental Context For Thriving Neighbourhoods Living in one of the most urbanised societies in the world- densification Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues (anxiety & depression) all rising Ageing population and 50+ are more active Declining social & community connectedness Financial Crisis Climate change! water, biodiversity decline - loss of species, sea level rise, severe weather patterns, heat island effect

12 Promoting Wellbeing & More Liveable cities Relevant & Contemporary, Parks & Bays settings & infrastructure Access and Linkages Enabling Programs and Services that promote meaningful experiences Transport Education Health - Preventative Health - Rehabilitation Recreation CALD Youth Aged General Community Disabled Tourism Environment Healthier, happier individuals & communities connected with the great outdoors Disadvantaged Local Government Planners Indigenous






18 Ed’s Great Grandfather, George Recognising the barriers


20 Health in Western Region of Melbourne The Type 2 Diabetes hotspots in the City of Brimbank are reported as: Ardeer 13.5% Deer Park 6.30% Sunshine 11.1% Kealba 4.80% Keilor Park 5.72% The prevalence of diabetes in the west is up to one in seven compared with the Victorian average of one in thirty. “90% to 95% of cases of type 2 diabetes are associated with obesity and physical inactivity”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2002


22 Healthier communities with reduced risk of: - Obesity - Depression - Diabetes - Cardio Vascular Disease - Social Isolation

23 Why is prevention important? It costs less to prevent illness than to treat it Australia spent $86.9 billion on health in 2005-06, up $5.8 billion from 2004-05 (AIHW) Currently we have an illness management system, not a health promoting system

24 Why is prevention important?

25 Long-term goal A healthy community and a healthy parks system People visit and value Behaviour and attitudinal change Mainstreaming of open space related activities Sustainable open space system Open space inclusion as a priority in all planning Community resilience

26 HPHP seeks to Re-connect people with nature Re-enforce the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy society Broaden community appreciation of the diverse values of parks

27 Endorsement & support from the Health Industry Expert advisor & champion Posters and brochures to GPs’ surgeries state-wide Establish innovative demonstration projects HPHP- Building new alliances

28 Healthy Parks Healthy People ‘Active in Parks’ Geelong a physical activity program being trialled in Geelong region in Spring 2011

29 HPHP- Building new advocates Engaging with multi-cultural communities Building partnerships with cultural organisations Bilingual volunteer guides program “Park discovery tours” (in partnership with local government) Overnight camps and day tours for new migrants PV staff awareness “… these trips give our new migrants real connection to the Australian Landscape….”

30 Retrofitting Urban parks Re-vitalising our existing urban parks Planning for new parks and open space in Melbourne “New” uses of parks ( e.g. community gardens, dog parks) Hands-on community involvement

31 Consider …. the long term well-being benefits of contact with parks and open space and the ecosystem services they provide. In reality we have the opportunity to optimise the provision of such opportunities and to contribute to social capital and social fabric

32 Summary  Healthy Parks Healthy People is a philosophy that resonates world wide  Thriving neighbourhoods requires parks/open space needs to be considered high priority, not nice to do  Whole of footprint thinking critical  Survival and growth of urban parks depends on increased community understanding and support




36 So, what is our vision? Healthy Parks Healthy People!

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