The legal basis for Australian environmental planning and governance
City design impacts the health and wellbeing of residents, health professionals call this 'an ecological model' of health. This model asserts that there are multiple factors influencing health and wellbeing, many of which are located outside of the health sector. Given the importance of planning and the built environment as underlying determinants of health and wellbeing, the World Health Organisation has recommended that 'health' and 'health equity' be placed at the heart of the planning and governance of cities. Research shows that there is an association between city and community design and health and wellbeing outcomes, including: compact pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods; higher density housing; attractive neighbourhoods with access to public open and green space. Compact pedestrian and cycling-friendly cities can potentially 'future-proof' cities, helping them to adapt to urgent global trends. The creation of more compact cities requires a rethink in the design and level of density of many Australian and North American cities.