Walking stalls in Brimbank

Four Brimbank suburbs have been named in Melbourne's "least walkable"

By Tate Papworth

Four Brimbank suburbs have been named as being among Melbourne’s least walkable.

The Domain Healthy Melbourne study by Deloitte Access Economics and Tract Consultants examined the health opportunities of Melbourne’s suburbs based on factors including open space, tree cover, access to fresh food and health facilities and the density of fast-food and liquor stores. The study also looked at the walkability of suburbs – how planning, facilities and infrastructure promote walking.

Suburbs were given a score out of 10 for how walkable they were, based on the distance to public transport and shops, the number of shops in an area and census data on methods used for travel to work.

Burnside Heights, Keilor Park, Delahey and Hillside were named in the top 20 least walkable suburbs in the city.

The 16 suburbs with best walkability scores were all within eight kilometres of the city. Suburbs that scored the lowest were between 15 and 45 kilometres from the city

Report co-author Daniel Terrill said health and activity needed to be integrated into the planning for residential areas of which growing populations will reside.

Though the study showed much of inner Melbourne was very walkable, most suburbs were not. More than half of all suburbs included scored five or less out of 10.

“The ability to integrate being active into everyday travel that residents are doing anyway is often, especially for time-poor people, what makes an active lifestyle possible,” he said.

“We aren’t active enough, so active transport has an important role to play – not just for health reasons, but also for economic efficiency, with a pedestrian or a cyclist using a fraction of the infrastructure and space compared to the same journey by car.”

One Brimbank suburb shone – Sunshine was named among Melbourne’s most walkable suburbs nine kilometres or more from the CBD.