Professor Gavin Turrell

Built environment change and neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage: are neighbourhood differences widening over time, and what are the implications for health inequality?

3 May, 2018

University of Wollongong

Co-Presenter Dr Xiaoqi Feng is a Founding Co-Director of the PowerLab and a Heart Foundation Fellow in Environment and Health. Xiaoqi was also recently awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in Child Health, Development and Environment. Xiaoqi will provide an update on PowerLab research, engagement and impact in local communities.

Gavin Turrell is a Principal Research Fellow (Professor) with Emeritus appointments at Queensland University of Technology, the University of Melbourne, and RMIT University. Between 2006 and 2015, Gavin was supported by NHMRC Senior Research Fellowships, and prior to that he was funded on an NHMRC/National Heart Foundation Career Development Award (2002-2005), and an NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1999-2001). His primary research interests are in social epidemiology, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health and health inequalities. His research is mainly population-based and examines how social and economic factors (measured at the individual, group, and area levels) influence health and health-related behaviours. Gavin is a Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable, and Equitable Communities, where he is leading a research program examining whether the neighbourhood built environment is causally related to health and well-being.

Seminar abstract: Reducing inequality within cities is a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). As cities quickly change and grow, a key question is whether changes in their built environments will lead to a widening of health inequalities. This longitudinal study tracks built environment change over a ten year period (2007 – 2016) in a fast-growing high-income city – Brisbane - and examines whether change differs by neighbourhood disadvantage. Data come from the HABITAT study, a multilevel longitudinal investigation of the relationship between the built environment and health. As the built environments of cities grow and expand, it is essential that governments monitor these changes and assess their implications for health inequalities: this is a fundamental requisite of achieving the SDG of reducing inequality and meeting the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.