Faculty of Science

About us

pleasant city residential streetOur research approach and purpose

CBEH focuses on research that can influence planning and urban design policy and practice to create healthy and sustainable communities, with a strong emphasis on research translation. 

Our research takes a ‘social determinants’ perspective on health, recognizing that many of the underlying causes of poor health derive from social, environmental, economic and cultural factors that are embedded in the lives in which people live, work and play. 

An ‘across the life course’ perspective also underpins the research, and there is a growing program of work relating to the impact of the built environment on the health and wellbeing and development of children and young people.  With an aging Australian population, there is also an increased focus on the impact of the built environment on the physical and mental health of older adults.

The Centre involves a collaboration between a multi-disciplinary team of investigators, encompassing expertise in

  • public health,
  • behavioural science,
  • geographical information systems (GIS),
  • mental health,
  • biostatistics,
  • qualitative and quantitative methods,
  • social determinants of health,
  • urban design,
  • transportation planning,
  • ageing,
  • child health,
  • health economics and
  • social ecology. 

The relevance of our research to the ‘real world’ is enhanced by collaborative relationships with a wide range of sectors and professions including planners, architects, geographers, urban designers, psychologists, economists, local government, sport and community groups.  The Centre has also contributed to the development of a number of relevant policies and guidelines, including the national Healthy Spaces and Places guidelines, WA-based Healthy Active by Design guidelines for urban planners and local government, and is contributing to the current review of the Liveable Neighbourhood guidelines.