Castle Plaza Transit-oriented Development Health Lens

Local Government Application – a Rapid Sustainability and Wellbeing Assessment Workshop

The Castle Plaza Transit-oriented Development project was a collaborative project between the Health in All Policies Unit, SA Health, and the City of Marion.

Within the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide there is a greater focus on concentrating development growth in both existing and new suburbs around dedicated public transport corridors in higher density, mixed-use commercial and residential hubs. These are commonly referred to as transit-oriented developments or TODs.

About the project

The vision for the project was to contribute to the development of a:

  • vibrant 
  • liveable 
  • healthy
  • sustainable
  • attractive 
  • economically successful Transit-oriented Development (TOD) in Edwardstown, South Australia. 

It aimed to increase the potential for an improved urban environment to support health and wellbeing through trialling the application of the ‘Healthy TODs Principles’ to the Castle Plaza redevelopment. The Healthy TOD Principles (PDF 2.6MB)  were a key outcome of a collaborative TODs Health Lens Analysis project. The Castle Plaza TOD is one of the first to be planned and constructed within the context of the 30-year Plan.

The Castle Plaza TOD project provided the first example of how a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach could be applied in a local government setting. The project trialled and employed a new methodology – a Rapid Sustainability and Wellbeing Assessment Workshop.

Outline of the process

The project did not strictly follow the format and methodology of a traditional health lens analysis (i.e. it was identified it would not be necessary to undertake a literature review or formal data analysis). It involved a new health lens tool, the Sustainability and Wellbeing Assessment Framework (SWAF) and a new process, the Rapid Assessment Workshop (RAW).

The project provided the opportunity to trial the newly developed Healthy TOD Principles by casting a ‘health lens’ over the Development Plan Amendment (DPA) for the Castle Plaza site, using the SWAF, to explore the links between health and urban planning.

SA Health and the City of Marion jointly commissioned HIA experts* to develop and facilitate a ‘rapid sustainability and wellbeing workshop’ to assess the potential health and wellbeing impacts of the proposed redevelopment of the Castle Plaza site.

There were three key stages throughout the project:

  1. The Healthy TODs Principles were used by the City of Marion to draft sub-principles which were particularly relevant to the Castle Plaza Development.
  2. These sub-principles were used by the HIA experts to design a draft Sustainability and Wellbeing Assessment Framework (SWAF).
  3. A three day Rapid Assessment Workshop (RAW) was undertaken, where key stakeholders from state government agencies and across the City of Marion assessed the Castle Plaza DPA and the proposed Castle Plaza TOD against the developed Sustainability and Wellbeing Assessment Framework (SWAF).

The process resulted in the development of a series of recommendations which were targeted at the DPA, at other stages in the planning process, and at a higher policy level, as well as at a range of agencies including local and state government and developers.

Project outcomes

A key outcome was that the DPA was changed as a result of the workshop. The City of Marion has been liaising directly with key state government agencies and the developer to progress actions that arose from the workshop. In particular, the City of Marion has refined the SWAF to use as a tool for their future planning and development assessment processes. The Council has committed to applying a ‘health lens’ over the next stages of the Castle Plaza Redevelopment – the community consultation and the review of critical design elements.

The project resulted in the development of a new HiAP methodology which can be adapted and applied not only to other local government settings, but also to other stages in the planning process.

The project also provided the opportunity to strengthen partnerships between state government agencies and a local government. These partnerships will be important in providing a strong basis for future work in a local government setting, including in the implementation of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011.

Social Needs Assessment

A Social Needs Assessment was jointly commissioned by the City of Marion, the Developers and SA Health as a result of the workshop. The Analysis assisted the City of Marion to determine the social infrastructure and service needs of the future Castle Plaza development population and the surrounding area. 

South Australia’s strategic plan targets**

  • T3.6 Use of Public Transport - Increase the use of public transport to 10% of metropolitan weekday passenger vehicle kilometres travelled by 2018.
  • T1.21 Strategic Infrastructure - Match the national average in terms of investment in key economic and social infrastructure.

The Project also supported the attainment of:

  • T3.5 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • T3.7 Ecological Footprint
  • T3.12 Renewable energy
  • T3.14 Energy efficiency- dwellings 
  • T2.2 Healthy Weight 
  • T2.4 Healthy South Australians
  • T2.8 Statewide Crime Rates 
  • T2.9 Road Safety- Fatalities
  • T2.10  Road Safety- Serious Injuries.

Project evaluation

An evaluation of the workshop (PDF 120KB) was undertaken. Participant response to the workshop was extremely positive and most indicated that they thought it was a valuable process.

Final report

Final report detailing the Health Lens Analysis process (PDF 900KB).

* Input during the project was provided by Quigley and Watts Pty Ltd and Martin Ward (Health Impact Assessment experts).

**South Australia’s Strategic Plan was updated in 2011. In this update, a number of existing targets underwent change and new targets were included. The targets outlined above relate to the 2007 version of the Plan.