Project RP2015 was a scoping study designed to inform the CRCLCL on the research and development needs to maximise potential health and productivity co-benefits of low carbon planning and design for precincts. This report provides a review of international research on co-benefits, examining and discussing current Australian policies in this area. Co-benefits are defined to be ancillary benefits – such as public health and productivity gains – that result from intentional decisions to address low carbon living through energy demand and greenhouse gas emission reductions, with a focus on low carbon precincts.
The report describes current planning and policy interventions in place in Australia to encourage low carbon active transport forms such as walking, cycling and using public transport. It describes the importance of research on co-benefits and the need for the CRC to support a major research initiative in this field. Such a project will identify and quantify co-benefits for public health and productivity from the planning and evaluation of low carbon urban precincts – the core activity of the CRC’s Low Carbon Precincts research program.
The review found clear and growing interest in co-benefits, but also indicates that while the health sector has initiated some significant programs, these are largely uncoordinated, especially from an urban planning perspective.