Walking, cycling, skate boarding: join the Active Transport in the Tropics group (Townsville)
The inaugural meeting of the Active Transport in the Tropics group (pictured) was held on April 21 in the Anton Breinl building on JCU’s Townsville campus.
Sponsored by TropEco, the meeting was convened by an interested group of public health academics to form a multi-disciplinary collaboration to help address issues around ‘active transport’ in the region.
Active transport is defined as human physical activity that is a means of travel, not just leisure. It includes walking, cycling, skateboarding, and more, and can also be integrated with public transport.
Group member Julie Parison said Townsville is regarded as an excellent case study site for active transport.
“It has a relatively flat land surface, a climate suited to year-round outdoor activity, a strong community interest in making the city more liveable, and a recognition for the need to increase physical activity for better health (including losing weight),” she said.
“However, active transport in the tropics has its challenges. The most obvious are heat and hydration. The broader challenges are how to create a built environment that is safe, durable to the rigours of cyclone and flooding, increases active transport opportunities for all members of the community equitably, and addresses future population growth.”
Ms Parison said JCU was well placed to help understand the challenges and work towards translating the research into action.
“The inaugural meeting group discussion included the interests of planning, sociology, psychology, education, sports and exercise science, public health, health promotion, medicine, engineering, information technology, TropEco, JCU and the JCU Master Plan Committee.”
Representatives attending the meeting also included JCU’s Bicycle Users Group (BUG) and the Townsville and Townsville Hospital BUG group and the Townsville City Council.
“This collaboration seeks to create opportunities for engagement and impact by developing a network that links academia, and its technical expertise, with the wider community - the fundamental goal being to address the needs of the community and support the creation of a more liveable city.”
If you are interested in being part of the collaboration, please contact Julie.Parison@jcu.edu.au