Communities ‘drawn to the environment during Covid-19’

Australians’ appreciation of the environment and public realm has risen sharply because of Covid-19’s impacts, a new liveability survey shows.

Attributes such as good, well-maintained public open space, walking/jogging/bike paths that connect housing to communal amenity, and easy access to neighbourhood amenities were all highly rated by respondents to the 2021 Australian Liveability Census.

Conversely, “ease of driving and parking” decreased in relative importance as a liveability factor, dropping seven percent nationally.

The census was carried out over five years and informed by over 100,000 responses from local government areas across the country.

It was delivered by Place Score with funding from the federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and the support 49 city, suburban and regional councils.

Place Score CEO Kylie Legge said: “We need to understand what really matters to people and how our neighbourhoods are performing to be able to define national and local liveability strengths and to prioritise investments for maximum benefit.

“A second, but no less important objective of the census was the unique opportunity to also understand how Covid-19 has impacted our communities’ values and to understand the ‘state of place’ across the country.

“We look forward to working with our partners in the coming months to further analyse the results.”