- Program seeks older residents in Rutherglen and Chiltern to track their chosen walking routes and help inform future infrastructure decisions
Charles Sturt University in Albury-Wodonga is partnering with Indigo Shire Council to find out how easy it is for older people to walk around Australia’s regional and rural towns.
The ‘Mapping Liveability in the Indigo Shire’ project aims to build a bank of information which will help inform the Council’s development of the Chiltern Connectivity Plan, as well as town planning practices and infrastructure in Rutherglen and Chiltern.
The project will also support the delivery of the Indigo Shire Ageing Well Strategy in planning for accessible and well-designed outdoor spaces in the region.
Residents in Rutherglen and Chiltern aged 65 or older are being asked to participate by wearing an activity device for a week, which will collect data about where they choose to walk in the two locations.
Participants will also be asked to undertake a survey of open-ended questions canvassing their thoughts and suggestions about walking in Chiltern and Rutherglen.
Senior Lecturer in Spatial Sciences in Charles Sturt’s School of Environmental Sciences Dr Rachel Whitsed (pictured) said the project would play a key part in developing a walkability index targeted to older Australians in regional towns.
“Mapping and analysing walkability helps councils to better address this important component of liveability,” she said.
“The purpose of this program is to promote increased access to social and economic infrastructure for older regional and rural Australians, and to improve their health and wellbeing in the process.
“We are seeking people with a broad range of physical abilities to participate, including people who use mobility aids.”
The project is being run in collaboration with the Institute for Land, Water and Society, and is being funded by the Council, North East Catchment Management Authority, and the Charles Sturt Wangaratta Regional Study Centre.
People interested in participating can contact Charles Sturt research officer Mrs Wendy Davison on 02 6051 9232 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.