Supporting active and healthy living in master-planned communities: a case study
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Current research suggests a link between urban design and healthy and active lifestyles. As such, there is a growing emphasis within new master-planned communities to create supportive environments for physical activities. In South-East Queensland such developments provide a range of community facilities and regularly organise events to promote active and healthy living. In the light of this new direction in urban development, the objective of the paper is to examine the role of master-planned communities in supporting active and healthy living, using a case study approach. Based on critical analysis of literature, the paper first proposes a conceptual framework for supporting active living in the communities. The framework comprises three factors: Place, Program and Partnership. This framework is then applied to a master-planned community in Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast, to assess its performance based on these three factors. The case study findings revealed several challenges in promoting active and healthy living, namely the following: (1) development of programs accessible to all demographic groups; (2) physical development to promote use of active transport and (3) management and funding of not-for-profit organisations to spearhead the cause of promoting active and healthy living.
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