FitNSW 2015

FitNSW 2015 - Creating more walkable and liveable communities


Wednesday 18 February 2015

NSW Parliament House, Sydney NSW, Australia


A summary document from the day is available here.


Session Objectives 


  • Promote greater understanding of interagency initiatives and better practice examples that have encouraged the creation of healthy built environments and active travel opportunities.
  • Describe metropolitan, regional and rural case studies that promote supportive environments for active living / active travel and the benefits to planning, transport and health sectors.
  • Identify forthcoming priority actions and emerging opportunities to implement more supportive environments for active living / active travel across NSW local communities.


Overview of the Session - Key Themes 


The Case for Action - examine better practice examples around Australia that have prioritised increased walkability in the planning and design of local neighbourhoods, transportation networks and public spaces.

A Framework for Action - outline current NSW Government and industry practice directed at integrating active travel, land - use planning and / or health and examine frameworks for enhanced collaboration across sectors.

Leadership and Action - identify opportunities, challenges and required next steps to more systematically integrate active travel, health and land - use planning into all stages of planning and practice.




Opening Address

The Hon. Jai Rowell, MP, Assistant Minister for Health


Complete Streets: They are not just streets, they are the threads that weave a sustainable, active place

Steven Burgess, Principal MRCagney

Key topics include: The evolution of streets and its impact upon street design rules and subsequent practice. The consequences of prioritising road design rather than complete streets such as shopping centres instead of main streets, driving instead of walking, loss of neighbourhood connections and casual contact (including play) in the street. Why do we continue to build streets for cars rather than people and is there a better way?

Complete Streets (pdf 3452 KB)

(Video length 38:39)


Challenges and solutions for implementing complete streets - an industry view

Stephen Moore, Principal RobertsDay (Video length 06:42)


Challenges and solutions for implementing complete streets - a developer's response

David Barnard, National Urban Design Manager Stockland (Video length 07:11) 


Making Complete Streets happen in NSW communities (Q and A)

(Video length 28:58)


NSW Active Transport Overview

Anissa Levy, Deputy Director General, Planning and Programs, Transport for NSW

Key topics include: Active transport as an integral component of an integrated transport system; walking and cycling as travel modes; NSW policy priorities and action update.

NSW Active Transport Overview (pdf 2356 KB)

(Video length 18:34)


Western Sydney Green Grid

Barbara Schaffer, Principal Landscape Architect, Government Architect's Office

Key topics include: The Government Architect's Office in collaboration with Parramatta City Council has created a strategic network of open space to ensure that green space is an urban design outcome that will be embedded and articulated in the ensuing process of urban transformation. The regional network of open space has the potential to provide the spatial framework for future growth in Sydney and offer significant opportunities for healthy active living.

Western Sydney Green Grid (pdf 10763 KB) 

(Video length 10:49)


NSW Regional Healthy Town Challenge

Santosh Khanal, NSW Office or Preventive Health

Michelle Daley, National Heart Foundation

Kim Thompson, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

Natania Copp, Southern NSW Local Health District

Cr Barbara Newton, Parkes Shire Council

Rusan Hill, Wellington Health Service

Kate Collins, Northern NSW Local Health District

Key topics include: The NSW Healthy Town Challenge is a joint initiative of NSW Office of Preventive Health and Heart Foundatoin to help small rural comunities become healthier by creating environments that encourage healthier living. Five towns with populations from 1, 000 to 15,000 were selcted competitively to participate in the challenge in September 2014. The towns will discuss their activities for the challenge and how they intend to sustain the initiatives.

NSW Regional Healthy Town Challenge (pdf 3632KB)

(Video length 24:06)


Local Council Leadership

Jacqueline Townsend, Mayor of Pittwater

Key topics include: Local counil and Regional Organisations of Councils (ROC) leadership to promote active transport, active living and sustainability. Strategies to engage with local communities to support active transport.

(Video length 10:46)


Key take home messages and final remarks

Dr Jo Mitchell, Director, Centre for Population Health, NSW Ministry of Health (Video length 06:49)


Speaker Biographies

Professor Chris Rissel – Symposium Chair

Professor Rissel is actively involved in promoting cycling as a form of active transport to increase population levels of physical activity. He has published numerous studies on aspects of cycling. Chris is Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health University of Sydney, and Director of the NSW Office of Preventive Health.

Steven Burgess

Steven is an engineer and urban strategist specialising in the development of long-term relationships between urban form, mobility and vitality. He has worked on many village, town and city transformation projects across the world. Steven is the author of “Complete Streets - Guidelines to Urban Street Design” which is a go to guide for active street design used by Local Governments, designers and engineers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Stephen Moore

Stephen is a Partner and Principal Designer on large scale city design, urban renewal and infill projects at RobertsDay. Stephen’s recent projects with a complete street focus include the award winning Coffs City Centre Master Plan and the Bondi Junction Complete Streets Project. 

Anissa Levy

Anissa Levy is the Deputy Director General, Planning & Programs for Transport for NSW, overseeing transport planning and program management across all modes of transport in New South Wales. Her team is responsible for identifying transport needs, producing integrated transport plans including the recently released NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan and Sydney’s Cycling and Walking Future. 

Barbara Schaffer

Barbara Schaffer is Principal Landscape Architect in the NSW Government Architect's Office. With over twenty years of experience Barbara has a strong track record in place-making, strategic planning, design and the delivery of complex high profile public places within government and the private sector. Barbara has led and contributed to projects across diverse realms including the Sydney Green Grid- a metropolitan wide green infrastructure project.

Jacqueline Townsend

Jacqueline is a councillor at Pittwater Council and is currently serving her third year as Mayor. Last year saw Jacqueline, as President of SHOROC, promote the benefits of Active Transport, Active Living and Sustainability. Pittwater Council last year included as one of its planning aims, "to improve access throughout Pittwater, facilitate the use of public transport and encourage walking and cycling”. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Law and Masters of Environmental Science and Law.

Dr Jo Mitchell

Jo Mitchell is the Director, Centre for Population Health in the NSW Ministry of Health. In this role she is responsible for leading the development of health promotion policy and strategy at the state level. She has over twenty years experience in health promotion at local and state levels and has a doctorate in Public Health from Flinders University.