Connected, healthy, smart and affordable: these are the four factors that emerged as the most important to making our cities liveable, according to a survey of more than 2500 residents we released this week.

Stockland’s Liveability Index, now in its sixth year, captures the experiences of more than 40 communities across 20 local government areas. It offers insights for governments as they ramp up their efforts to deliver solutions to the challenges — and opportunities — posed by the growth of metropolitan centres.

The release of this research is timely, with the federal government’s Cities References Group continuing its work in partnership with industry to ensure we get this growth right.

walkable cities

Photo: article supplied

As the chairman of that group, Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor told The Australian only last month: “If we can’t measure it, we can’t improve it.”

Liveability is something we must continue to measure and improve.

Far from being an abstract concept, livability is a tangible element critical to the success of both new and established communities. This is because of the flow-on social and economic effects it has on individuals and communities.

Obesity, for example, is one of the most significant challenges in relation to the liveability of Australian cities.

Aside from the personal and community toll, PwC estimated in 2015 that obesity and its related health effects would cost the Australian economy more than $87 billion in the next decade.

Simple measures in planning, designing and encouraging activity in communities significantly lower obesity rates.

This article was originally published by The Australian.

Click here to read the entire article.

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