Glossary

Accessibility - The degree to which individuals have access to a location, facility, program, open space, and cycle and walk networks.

Accessible - Capable of being reached - entered by all potential users.

Active frontage - Building frontage which contains uses that promote activity on the street.

Active living - A way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines.

Active transport - An alternative to car travel i.e. walking, cycling, scooting or using public transport, and can provide benefits such as increasing daily physical activity and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ancillary benefits can also include an increase in the sense of community and improved mental health.

Town centre - Community focal points that encompass commercial, retail, higher density housing, entertainment, tourism, civic/community, higher education, and medical services. Town centres vary in size and diversity and should be designed to be well-serviced by public transport.

Activity generators - Features and land uses that attract people, activity and surveillance opportunities, such as picnic areas, cafes, recreation facilities and public seating areas.

Advocacy (advocating) - Support for a cause to drive change - publicly.

Age-friendly communities - Places where older people can live safely, enjoy good health and stay active, with opportunities to participate.

Ageing in place - The option to choose where one lives as they age; to live in one’s own home - own community, independently and comfortably.

Baby Boomers - Those born between 1946 and 1964, during the post-World War II baby boom.

Barrier - A circumstance or obstacle that makes it difficult or impossible for something to happen or be achieved.

Best practice - A method or technique that has been shown by research and experience to be superior to any alternatives.

Blue Zones - A term that classifies regions of the world were life expectancy is higher than average. Blue Zone areas include:

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California (a group of Seventh-day Adventists) 
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Icaria, Greece.

Body Mass Index - An individual’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared. The measurement is used to identify nutritional status, weight and risk of disease. 

Bottom-up approach - Participation from the local community in decision making processes, an approach that empowers community ownership and commitment.

Brownfield - Land that has previously been developed but is abandoned or underused, usually considered as a potential site for redevelopment. It may or may not be environmentally contaminated but invariably will require remediation work to be undertaken to bring it back into use.

Built environment - The human-made structures and places in which we live, work and play, including land uses, transportation systems and design features.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) - People who are from other cultures/countries and do not speak English as a first language.

Cardiovascular disease - Diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. The most common and serious cardiovascular diseases in Australia are coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. They disproportionately affect males, the elderly, Indigenous Australians, and people living in remote or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. 

Case study - A best practice example of a project or an initiative.

Civic participation - Formal and informal activities provide opportunities to participate in community e.g. employment, volunteering or participating in group activities

Co-design - A collaborative approach to decision making and design that allows a range of people and users to engage, communicate, create, share and test; also referred to as participatory, co-creation and open design processes.

Co-location - Placement of several destinations or land uses in a single location or area. 

Community infrastructure - Structures and facilities that help communities and neighbourhoods to function effectively, including sporting and recreational facilities, community centres, childcare and after school centres, libraries and cultural facilities.

Community purpose site - A land parcel (normally less than 2000 square metres) set aside for local community uses such as community centres, meeting halls, libraries and kindergartens, which may form part of the public open space contribution for a neighbourhood. 

Community-based approaches - When communities have an active role and participate in highlighting and addressing the issues that matter to them.

Community Walkability Checklist - A walkability audit tool.

Conducive environments - Physical characteristics that support and enable physical activity.

Connectivity - The degree to which networks such as streets, railways, walking and cycling routes, services and infrastructure interconnect. A highly connected place will have many public spaces or routes linked to it.

Crime Prevention Through Design (CPTED) - A multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behaviour through environmental and urban design decisions. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts and deter criminal acts. CPTED recognises that it has to be part of a holistic approach to crime prevention including community, social and environmental strategies.

Cultural barriers - Challenges in understanding different cultures and/or cultural traits, resulting in inconveniences and difficulties.

Dementia - A condition that causes deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities (it is not a normal part of ageing).

Density - Total mass divided by total volume i.e. the number of people divided by the area they reside square kilometres.

HAbD design features - Key aspects of healthy and active built environments, these include Public Open Space,  Community Facilities, Buildings, Movement Networks, Destinations, Housing Diversity, Sense of Place and Healthy Food.

Design guidelines - A set of planning provisions intended to inform development.

Development contributions - Monetary contributions made by a developer/subdivider for items of infrastructure that are required to support the orderly development of an area.

Digital literacy - Ability to find, use and disseminate information in a digital world.

Digital technology - Computer-based products and solutions.

Dwelling - A building or portion of a building being used, adapted, designed or intended to be used for the purpose of human habitation on a permanent basis.

Epidemic - An outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time within a community population or region.

Pandemic - An epidemic outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many regions, countries or continents.

Ethnically diverse - The variation between people in terms of how they identify on a range of attributes including ancestry, ethnicity, ethno-religiosity, language, national origin, race, and/or religion.

Farmers markets - Regular markets that involve farmers selling fresh produce in key community locations, directly to customers. Farmers markets can operate at community facilities such as school grounds or public ovals.

Food freight - Food distribution, with key influencers including transport systems, regulation and taxation.

Functional capacity - Ability to perform tasks and activities that people find necessary or desirable in their lives

Green infrastructure - A network of green spaces, street trees and other urban vegetation including wetlands, rain gardens, green walls and roofs. It can include a combination of public spaces and private spaces (e.g. golf courses and residential gardens).

Greenfield development - Development on land that has not been previously developed for urban development. 

Grouped dwelling - One of a group of two or more dwellings on the same lot such that no dwelling is placed wholly or partly vertically above another, except where special conditions of landscape or topography dictate otherwise and includes a dwelling on a survey strata with common property.

Health - A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organisation, 1946). 

Health promotion - The process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.

Healthy Active Ageing principles

  1. Ageing affects all ages across the life-cycle;
  2. Physical activity improves the health and well-being of older people;
  3. Social engagement provides the motivation to maintain healthy levels of physical activity; and
  4. Key design features are needed to facilitate both the physical activity and social engagement required to support the highest possible quality of life for older people.

Healthy Active Ageing - Encompasses all aspects of health with importance placed on a whole of life span approach (into old age); together with the broader social, cultural, environmental and contextual issues of quality of life and wellbeing.

Heart Maps - An online tool developed by the Heart Foundation that reveals heart disease trends across Australia. Importantly, highlighted is associations between socioeconomic disadvantage and remoteness, and heart health outcomes.

Healthy communities - Communities where people come together to make their environment better for everyone through collaboration, community ownership, inclusive approaches and long-term, positive commitment. A healthy community will provide affordable, appropriate, accessible housing, adjust the physical environment for inclusiveness and accessibility, ensure access to key health and supportive services, ensure accessible, affordable, reliable and safe transport, provide work, volunteer and education opportunities, and encourage participation in civic, cultural, social and recreational activities. 

Healthy Food - Food contained within the five food groups promoted by the Australian Dietary Guidelines. These include grain (cereal) foods; vegetables of various types and colours, as well as legumes and beans; fruit; lean meats, poultry and fish, nuts and tofu; and reduced fat dairy foods including milk, yoghurt, cheese and their alternatives. 

Incidental activity - Unstructured activity such as walking for transport, housework and activities of daily living.

Inclusive - Does not leave any part or group out.

Intergenerational - Involving persons of different generations or age categories.

Intrinsic capacity - A composite of all the physical and mental attributes an individual can draw upon.

Land use - The purpose of land based on its zoning. This includes residential, retail, commercial, civic, open space, or mixed-use within a Town Planning Scheme. 

Legibility - Where the design of the urban form (including local street and public open space networks) provides a sense of direction and connection, giving clear signals regarding the spatial layout and geography of an area.

Life-course - The entirety of individual’s life from birth to death and the typical set of circumstances an individual experiences in a given society as they age.

Life expectancy - A statistical average that places an estimate on the number of years a person is expected to live. Life expectancy varies across geographical area and in some instances culture and race.

Local structure plan - A statutory document prepared by local government, a landowner or a landowner representative and approved under the provisions of a local planning scheme. Local structure plans coordinate the provision and planning for land use development, infrastructure and facilities on the neighbourhood scale (generally two suburbs or less, three neighbourhoods or less, one primary school catchment) and provide a statutory planning framework to facilitate future subdivision and development.

Local vernacular - A building style using local materials and traditional methods of construction and ornament, especially as distinguished from academic or historical architectural styles not from the region.

Loneliness - An unpleasant emotional response to perceived and/or genuine isolation.

Master plan -

  • A document that sets out how a particular area can (as opposed to will) develop and redevelop into the future
  • A high-level plan intended to set out objectives and strategies to manage development and change over time
  • A process that defines what is important about a place and how its character and quality can be conserved, improved and enhanced 
  • It isn’t a detailed design.

Minority - A group that coexists with but is subordinate to a more dominant group.

Mixed-use - A variety of different land uses (or destinations) within a project area, precinct, locality or site.

Mixed-use development - Buildings that contain commercial and other non-residential uses in conjunction with residential dwellings in a multiple dwelling configuration.

Mobility - The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

Moderate-intensity exercise - Exercise that increases heart rate and breathing rate.

Motivator - Something that provides a reason or stimulus to do something.

Nature spaces - A setting where people can enjoy nearby nature and protect local biodiversity and natural area values. Nature spaces provide opportunity for low-impact recreational activities, such as walking, cycling, picnicking, playing, watching or exploring natural features. Nature spaces may include bushland, coastal areas, wetlands and riparian habitats, and geological and natural features. Sites are managed to enable recreational access while protecting local ecological and biodiversity values.

Neighbourhood - A five-minute walk (or 400 metres) from a centrally located local centre to its perimeter. The centre will:

  • Have a community focus (a destination) with a comparable mix of uses (including retail) that provide for daily needs
  • Be located at intersection of relatively busy local streets and served by public transport
  • Be characterised by a range of residential densities and variety of housing types that increase toward the neighbourhood centre.

Neighbourhood aesthetics - Relates to the general appeal and presentation of the neighbourhood and whether it provides a pleasant pedestrian-orientated environment. Design features that contribute towards the physical qualities and aesthetics of the street environment and that are relevant to walking include: the surface type and condition of footpaths; curb heights; the provision of street furniture, lighting and trees; vegetation; building setbacks; as well as the attractiveness of the area, and its maintenance.

Neighbourhood permeability - Building street block lengths of no more than 240 metres, and predominately around 15-180 metres in length. Street blocks should generally be shorter closer to the town and neighbourhood centres. The choice of movement should be maximised, with streets and footpaths designed to assist in safe movements. 

Non-communicable diseases - Non-infectious chronic health conditions, usually developing over a significant period of time, that can cause death, dysfunction or impaired quality of life e.g. heart disease.

Older age - Older age in a chronological sense often refers to persons aged 65 years and over. Or, for those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 55 years is a more appropriate and widely acknowledged definition. However, ageing is not a homogenous process and can also be characterised by the onset of multifaceted health conditions that tend to occur only later in life and are not classified within discrete disease categories.

Ped-sheds (also known as walkable catchments) - Maps showing the actual area in a five-minute walking distance from any centre, or 10 minutes from any major transport stop such as a railway station. The centre could be a neighbourhood or activity centre. The walkable catchment is a technique for comparative evaluation of how easy it is to move through an urban area, in order to get to and from these centres or facilities. These maps are the best estimates of walkability, and as such are an indication of energy efficiency.

Peri-urban - Areas between urban and regional centres, and rural zones.

Physical activity - Bodily movement driven by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.

Place manager - Coordinates activity and acts as a point of responsibility and accountability for the outcomes in a centre and/or destination.

Prevention - Deliberate steps to stop or delay something happening.

Public health - Organised efforts that extend life, promote good health and prevent disease.

Public open space hierarchy - A notional framework for the provision of public open space parkland that is dependent upon the scale, function and location, and varies in size, ratio of active versus passive components and potential number of dwelling within its service catchment.

Public realm - Areas of common public use, in local authority or State Crown ownership, such as parks, playgrounds and streets.

Quality of life - Ability to enjoy normal life activities.

Recreation - An activity of leisure carried out in free time for enjoyment, and can be considered healthy, fun and social. 

Recreation spaces - A setting for informal play and physical activity, relaxation and social interaction. Recreation spaces include open parklands, community gardens, corridor links, amenity spaces, community use facilities and civic commons or squares.

Regional - Locations located outside of major cities.

Remote - An area that is disconnected and distanced.

Retail food outlets - Places where consumers purchase food to be consumed off-premise.

Retirement living - Community or village where people aged 55 years or older reside.

Risk factor - Something that can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing a disease.

Rural - Less populated, non-urban areas.

Sedentary behaviour - Any waking activity characterised by energy expenditure ≤ 1.5 metabolic equivalents and a sitting or reclining posture.

Senior - A term used to classify an older person by age.

Sense of belonging - The degree to which people in a community feel connected and committed to and part of a community.

Sense of community - A feeling that members have of belonging and being important to each other, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met by the commitment to be together.

Serviced apartment - A residential dwelling that forms part of a complex where common maintenance or other services are provided.

Sexual orientation - A person’s preferences that relate to attraction, intimacy, behaviour and sex. There are said to be more than 45 variances (terms) to describe a person’s sexual orientation; preferences can change. 

Single bedroom dwelling - A dwelling that contains a living room and no more than one other habitable room that is capable of use as a bedroom.

Single house - A dwelling standing wholly on its own green title or survey title lot, together with any easement over adjoining land for support of a wall or for access or services. It excludes dwellings on titles with areas held in common property.

Site responsive - A design for a building that takes the location, natural landscape and climate into consideration when designing.

Social capital - The social networks and interactions that inspire trust and reciprocity among citizens.

Social inclusion - A society where all people are given the opportunity to participate fully in political, cultural, civic and economic life because they feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live in dignity.

Socio-economic status - A combined measure of education, income and occupation that equates to a person's social standing or status.

Strength / resistance training - Any physical activity or exercise that uses the force of a muscle against some form of resistance to build muscle strength, endurance, and size.

Structure plan - A plan for the coordination of future subdivision, development and zoning of an area of land. It may be prepared if the area is all or part of a zone identified in this scheme as an area suitable for urban or industrial development; and identified in this scheme as an area requiring a structure plan to be prepared before any future subdivision or development is undertaken; or a state planning policy requires a structure plan to be prepared for the area; or when the responsible authority considers that a structure plan for the area is required for the purposes of orderly and proper planning.

Suburban - Outskirt suburbs of cities and large town centres, typically refers to mixed use residential areas.

Surveillance - The ability to see and hear activities.

Sustainability - Meeting the needs of the now with minimal impact on the future.

Transit Orientated Development - The creation of compact, walkable communities centred around high-quality public transport. 

Universal design - Buildings, products or environments that are designed to be accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability etc.

Urban - A built-up, densely populated area.

Urban agriculture - The practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around (peri-urban) a village, town, or city.

Urban design - A design-based approach to shaping urban environments and optimising the performance and efficiency of neighbourhoods, towns and cities. It pays particular attention to the way urban spaces work, interface between public and private realms and natural environment, cultural values, integrated movement systems and built form.

Vigorous-intensity exercise - Exercise that substantially increases heart rate and breathing, and is likely to cause sweating.

Visibility - The ability of users of a space to see and be seen, ensuring surveillance by the maximum number of people.

Walkability - Factors within the environment that make it convenient, comfortable and safe to walk

Walkability Audit - A tool deigned to audit/rate walkability.

WHO 8 Age Friendly Domains - Built Environment, Transport, Housing, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Communication, and Community Support and Health Services.

15-minute neighbourhood - A city of short distances / hyper-proximities; a self-sufficient or complete neighbourhood where most of a person’s day-to-day needs are located within a 15-minute ride or walk from their home.

20-minute neighbourhood - The 20-minute neighbourhood concept is all about ‘living locally’—giving people the ability to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home, with access to safe cycling and local transport options.