Thomas Astell-Burt & Xiaoqi Feng

Thomas Astell-Burt

Professor of Population Health and Environmental Data Science, University of Wollongong

Thomas Astell-Burt is the Professor of Population Health and Environmental Data Science and the Founding Co-Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab) at the University of Wollongong (UOW). Thomas is also an NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellow (1 of only 4 awarded in public health in Australia). Thomas has a long-standing interest in the relationship between nature and human health, especially on the potential of green space to enrich environments for prevention of Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Xiaoqi Feng

Associate Professor, University of Wollongong

Associate Professor Xiaoqi Feng is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Founding Co-Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab) at the University of Wollongong. A/Prof Feng's research spans population health and data science with a focus on how we can foster urban environments that support healthier beginnings in life. She has previously presented her research in Australia (e.g. Parks and Leisure NSW-ACT 2016, KidSafe 2018, and the Australian Health Promotion Association 2018 in Canberra) and works with leading research institutions around the world (e.g. China CDC, Uppsala University, LMU) to advance understandings of green space and health.


Presentation:

Which types of Urban Green Space are Most Effective for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease?

Our previous research has identified a link with green space and type 2 diabetes. In this longitudinal study we explored whether particular types of green space matter more than others for prevention of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. We analysed 'big data' from 46,786 city-dwellers in the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study (baseline: 2006-2009, follow-up: 2012-2015). We found at baseline that more green space overall was associated with lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes. When we looked at different green space types, we found consistent evidence to suggest that having >30% of land-use within 1.6km occupied by tree canopy was associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. By contrast, people with more grassland without tree canopy nearby did not experience the same health benefits. This suggests investing in tree canopy could be a 'best buy' for promoting health via urban greening strategies.



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What our Delegates are Saying

"I'm going to seek new ideas and learn from experience of other projects to constantly improve the way we manage our parks and open space . I'm looking forward to learning more around Parks & Open Space, Healthy Active Play and Trees and Gardens"

Jacqui, Manager City Reserves, City of Albany (WA)

"I love to listen, learn, share and spend time with likeminded and inspirational colleagues who are transforming the world park by park, facility by facility, program by program. I am looking forward to seeing Kia Dowell and Katie Sarah. I love being inspired and challenged to make a difference and grow as a leader and contributor to our industry".

Carly, Team Leader Recreation Planning, City of Casey (VIC)

"It is important to keep abreast of latest industry trends, best practice case studies and the valuable networking opportunities. I am looking forward to hearing from Jack Kardys regarding the evolving role of parks - driving health, happiness and economic prosperity".

Matt, Manager Active Communities, City of Holdfast Bay

"I can't wait to meet new people and catch up with old friends at PLA2019. I haven't been to Perth for many years and I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful parks"

Neil, Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

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