Leafy Bardon Is Among the Five-star Healthiest Suburbs in Brisbane

Photo credit: Bardon Latrobe Football Club/Facebook

Bardon joins the list of five-star rated healthiest suburbs in Brisbane in terms of providing health opportunities to its residents, according to a Domain Healthy Brisbane study.

This first-ever study, in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics and Tract Consultants, compares 260 Greater Brisbane suburbs based on 10 indicators that either promote or hinder residents from achieving a healthy lifestyle.

These indicators are grouped into:

  • Recovery Indicators – indicators that help individuals to recover from illness or injury such as proximity to a hospital.
  • Hindrance Indicators – elements that hinder an individual from maintaining a healthy kind of lifestyle like easy access to fast-food.
  • Promotion Indicators – elements of a suburb that encourages individuals to engage in healthy activities like walking and sports activities

Based on these indicators, each suburb is then given a rating from 0.5 to 5 stars with 0.5 being the poorest and 5 being the best.

Promotion Indicators:

  • Walkability – Measures the urban environment’s capacity for walking combined with safety, efficient and enjoyable walking experience.
  • Active Transport to Work – Measures the percentage of residents in the labour force travelling to work, through walking or cycling, from their residence. Scores favour those suburbs with close proximity to employment centres or have access to bicycle routes.
  • Open Space – Measures the proportion of a suburb covered by public open space, providing an opportunity for active recreation and participation in sporting activities.
  • Tree Cover – Measures the percentage of tree cover of a suburb. Tree cover is known to have calming effects and aids in recovery, as well a reducing air pollution and lowering urban temperatures.
  • Access to Fresh Food/Supermarkets – Measures the density of supermarket and fresh food retailers in a suburb per 1000 of the population.
  • Volunteering – Measures the proportion of the suburb’s population involved in volunteer work.

Hindrance Indicators:

  • Fast Food Stores – Measures the ease of access to fast-food. A high density of fast-food store equates to greater accessibility. The final accessibility score is the average of individual suburb scores plus the scores of neighbouring suburbs.
  • Liquors Stores – Measures the density of residents per packaged liquor store.

Recovery Indicators:

  • Hospitals – The average of a suburb’s distance to a hospital and the number of hospital beds per 1000 population.
  • Allied/Community Health – Combines both the allied and community facilities that are available for residents in a particular suburb.
Photo credit: Domain/domain.com.au

The 5-star Suburbs:

  • Indooroopilly
  • Taringa
  • Grange
  • Ashgrove
  • Chelmer
  • Toowong
  • Wilston
  • Bardon
  • Graceville
  • Chermside West
  • Chapel Hill
  • St Lucia
  • Fig Tree Pocket
  • Auchenflower
  • Yeronga

The study noted, however, that some suburbs have been excluded due to lack of data or for not having large enough population to make a significant statistical analysis. Other indicators were smoothed to account for “boundary effects” such as a road dividing suburbs, where a large park is located just across that boundary.

The study is designed to create a better understanding of the opportunities that suburbs provide its residents that promotes healthy living.