The Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning, and the Heart Foundation are working with local governments across Victoria to strengthen the understanding of the links between health, the built environment and planning as core activities of council.
Approximately 250 participants from over 60 councils participated in seven sessions across the state to explore current and future practice. These workshops brought together staff from across multiple disciplines - including strategic planning, community development workers, health planners, aged, youth, safety and disability workers, and recreation and urban designers - to identify ‘good practice’ and strengthen the relationship between health and land-use planning.
Together, participants arrived at the following key activities to strengthen the relationship between health and land-use planning in council:
- auditing policies and strategies for alignment and efficiencies
- aligning objectives across the Municipal Strategic Statement and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan
- developing a common language
- identifying and implementing structures that facilitate interdisciplinary approaches
- whole-of-organisation buy-in
- supporting in-house skills and capacity
- advocacy and leadership
- community and councillor education and engagement
- taking a long-term view of change
- tools for implementation.
Further work is planned in this space to help create good health in the places where Victorians spend their time, including the development of a Healthy and Active by Design web portal and a follow-up forum of local government professionals.
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