Ms Melanie Lowe

Ms Melanie Lowe

PhD Student

Integrated planning for healthy communities: Do Victorian state government policies promote it?

There is increasing Australian and international interest in integrated planning that promotes health and wellbeing. Melbourne is experiencing unprecedented rapid population growth, especially in the outer north and west. This is creating public health challenges associated with low-density, single land-use, car-dependent suburban developments. 

Melanie's thesis aims to examine the extent of, and enablers and barriers, to health-promoting integrated planning across Victorian state government policy sectors. The focus is on the key determinants of healthy communities in Melbourne's North and West Metropolitan Region - housing, transport, employment, education, and health and social infrastructure. Lessons that can be learned from integrated planning approaches in Portland, Oregon will also be explored.

Melanie's research involves content analysis of selected policy documents, as well as semi-structured in-depth interviews with senior policymakers from the Victorian state government and the City of Portland. This research will assist policymakers to create healthier communities through integrated planning.

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) and a Master of Public Health.


  • Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.
  • Carolyn Whitzman, Professor in Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne.