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Does commuting ruin your life?

The journey to work is routinely portrayed as a social evil that’s bad for your health and for society. The reality is commutes aren’t that arduous and provide important private and social benefits

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Would a McDonalds in this town be all downside?

Residents of ex-urban Tecoma are fiercely resisting a proposed McDonalds restaurant which they fear will destroy the character of their village. But would a McDonalds be all downside?

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How big can a hospital get?

The Texas Medical Centre concentrates more than 15 hospitals and a range of medicine-related institutions in 1,000 acres. It’s a powerful example of the benefits of agglomeration and specialisation

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Should the helmet law be repealed to save bikeshare?

The environmental and health benefits of bikeshare schemes are way too small by themselves to justify repeal of the helmet law. Any debate on changing the law should be evidence-based and inclusive

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Will taxing fast food outlets improve health?

The City of Darebin in Melbourne is looking at the possibility of imposing a higher property rate – up to four times the standard commercial rate – on franchised fast food restaurants in the municipality. According to the local paper: A report by council officers into a campaign against Type 2 diabetes found planning controls [...]

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Are Michelle Obama’s ‘Food Deserts’ a myth?

I’ve always felt there’s something dubious about the “food deserts” hypothesis that’s so captured Michelle Obama’s imagination. Now a story in the New York Times suggests my instinct might be close to the mark. Food deserts are places that have good access to fast food outlets selling high-fat, high-sugar junk food, but poor access to [...]

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How ‘socially disordered’ are the places we live in?

Almost 60% of Australian adults reckon there’s at least one social disorder issue in their local area. Top of the list are concerns about noisy vehicles, dangerous driving, rowdy behaviour and offensive language. These findings are from the latest release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) national Crime Victimisation Survey. It was conducted from [...]

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Should the war on obesity be a key objective of transport policy?

I know people who have the option of driving but instead take the train so they can improve their physical fitness. It takes longer than driving, but since they’re going to work anyway, walking to the station is an easy way to exercise. It makes good sense; I’ve walked or cycled to work at various [...]

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Is inner city living the solution to obesity?

It’s often pointed out that residents of the inner city, on average, are less obese than residents of the outer suburbs. Since the inner city is denser, more walkable and has much better public transport access than any other part of the metropolitan area, the conclusion seems obvious to many – a key strategy to [...]

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Is it healthy to assume correlation means causation?

The link between the physical environment and health outcomes like obesity is fraught. The Victorian Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning References Committee should bear this in mind as it goes about its new inquiry into the contribution of environmental design to public health. The Committee might want to start with the first chart in the [...]

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Womens Agenda

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Smart Company

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Property Observer

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