RMIT University
Carl Higgs is a research data scientist in the Healthy Liveable Cities Lab of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. With a background in computational statistics and spatial epidemiology, Carl has been involved in the development of methods for measurement of built environment exposures for local neighbourhoods using diverse data sources for research supporting equitable delivery of urban planning policy, in Australia and internationally. Research highlights include developing methods for calculation of a spatial Urban Liveability Index for residential addresses; scaling to a national analysis of Australian cities; contributing to the Australian Government's National Cities Performance Framework; development of a framework for visualisation of the spatial distribution of urban liveability, which formed the basis of the Australian Urban Observatory; and adapting these methods for use in diverse international contexts.


  • Bandara, TN, Higgs C, Zapata-Diomedi B, Gunn L, Turrell G, De Livera A. (2023) ‘The longitudinal effects of the built environment on transportation and recreational walking, and differences by age and sex: systematic review protocol’, Archives of Public Health, 81(1), p. 184.
  • Adlakha D, Higgs C, Sallis F (2023) Growing evidence that activity-friendly neighbourhoods can mitigate non-communicable and infectious disease risk. Cities and Health.
  • Higgs C, Lowe M, Hooper P, Mavoa S, Arundel J, Gunn L, Simons K, Giles-Corti B (2023) Policy relevant health related liveability indicator datasets for addresses in Australia’s 21 largest cities. Sci Data 10, 113.
  • Wright A, De Livera A, Lee KH, Higgs C, Nicholson M, Gibbs L, Jorm A (2022) A repeated cross-sectional and longitudinal study of mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria, Australia. BMC Public Health 22:2434.
  • Villanueva K, Badland H, Alderton A, Higgs C, Turrell G, Goldfeld S (2022) Examining the contribution of the neighbourhood built environment to the relationship between neighbourhood disadvantage and early childhood development in 205,000 Australian children. Academic Pediatrics.
  • Giles-Corti B, Saghapour T, Turrell G, Gunn L, Both A, Lowe M … Higgs C. Spatial and socioeconomic inequities in liveability in Australia’s 21 largest cities: Does city size matter? Health & place. 2022;78:102899.
  • Higgs C, Rozek J, Alderton A, Giles-Corti B et al. (2022) Policy relevant spatial indicators of urban liveability and sustainability: scaling from local to global. Urban Policy and Research. SOAC 2021 Special Edition..
  • Chandrabose M, Cao Y, Hadgraft N, Higgs C, Shuvo F, Dunstan DW, Owen N, Sugiyama T (2022) Neighbourhood walkability and dietary attributes: effect modification by area-level socio-economic status. Public health nutrition. 25(9):2593-2600.
  • Liu S, Higgs C, Arundel J, Boeing G, Cerdera N, Moctezuma D, Cerin E, Adlakha D, Lowe M, Giles-Corti B (2022) A Generalized Framework for Measuring Pedestrian Accessibility around the World Using Open Data. Geographical Analysis. 54(3):559-582.
  • Lowe M, Adlakha D, Sallis JF, Salvo D, Cerin E, Moudon AV, Higgs C et al. (2022) City planning policies to support health and sustainability: an international comparison of policy indicators for 25 cities. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e882–94.
  • Giles-Corti B, Moudon AV, Lowe M, Cerin E, Boeing G, Frumkin H, Higgs C et al. (2022) What next? Expanding our view of city planning and global health, and implementing and monitoring evidence-informed policy. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e919–26.
  • Giles-Corti B, Moudon AV, Lowe M, Adlakha D, Cerin E, Boeing G, Higgs C et al. (2022) Creating healthy and sustainable cities: what gets measured, gets done. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e782–5.
  • Cerin E, Sallis JF, Salvo D, Hinckson E, Conway TL, Owen N, Higgs C et al. (2022) Determining thresholds for spatial urban design and transport features that support walking to create healthy and sustainable cities: findings from the IPEN Adult study. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e895–906.
  • Boeing G, Higgs C, Liu S, Giles-Corti B, Sallis JF, Cerin E, et al. (2022) Using open data and open-source software to develop spatial indicators of urban design and transport features for achieving healthy and sustainable cities. The Lancet Global Health. 10(6):e907–18.
  • Villanueva K, Alderton A, Higgs C, Badland H, Goldfeld S (2022) Data to Decisions: Methods to Create Neighbourhood Built Environment Indicators Relevant for Early Childhood Development. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19(9):5549.
  • Both A, Gunn L, Higgs C, Davern M, Jafari A, Boulange C, et al. (2022) Achieving ‘Active’ 30 Minute Cities: How Feasible Is It to Reach Work within 30 Minutes Using Active Transport Modes? ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 11(1):58.
  • Higgs C, Simons K, Badland H, Giles-Corti B (2021) Cross-sectional evidence of the cardiometabolic health benefits of urban liveability in Australia. npj Urban Sustain.
  • Kelly D, Davern M, Farahani L, Higgs C, Maller C (2022) Urban greening for health and wellbeing in low-income communities: A baseline study in Melbourne, Australia. Cities. 120:103442.
  • Alderton A, Nitvimol K, Davern M, Higgs C, Correia J, Butterworth I, et al. (2021) Building Capacity in Monitoring Urban Liveability in Bangkok: Critical Success Factors and Reflections from a Multi-Sectoral, International Partnership. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(14):7322.
  • Alderton A, Higgs C, Davern M, Butterworth I, Correia J, Nitvimol K, et al. (2020) Measuring and monitoring liveability in a low-to-middle income country: a proof-of-concept for Bangkok, Thailand and lessons from an international partnership. Cities & Health. Available from:
  • Gunn L, Kroen A, De Gruyter C, Higgs C, Saghapour T, Davern M. (2020) Early delivery of equitable and healthy transport options in new suburbs: Policy, place and people. Journal of Transport & Health.
  • Horne R, Correia J, Badland H, Alderton A, Higgs C (2020) From Ballarat to Bangkok: how can cross-sectoral partnerships around the Sustainable Development Goals accelerate urban liveability?. Cities & Health. 12:1-7.
  • Lowe M, Arundel J, Hooper P, Rozek J, Higgs C, Roberts R, Giles-Corti B (2020) Liveability aspirations and realities: Implementation of urban policies designed to create healthy cities in Australia. Social Science & Medicine. 245:112713.
  • Alderton A, Davern M, Nitvimol K, Butterworth I, Higgs C, Ryan E, Badland H (2019) What is the meaning of urban liveability for a city in a low-to-middle-income country? Contextualising liveability for Bangkok, Thailand. Globalization and health. 15(1):51.
  • Higgs C, Badland H, Simons K, Knibbs LD, Giles-Corti B (2019) The Urban Liveability Index: developing a policy-relevant urban liveability composite measure and evaluating associations with transport mode choice. International Journal of Health Geographics. 18(1):14.
  • Davern M, Gunn L, Whitzman C, Higgs C, Giles-Corti B, Simons K, et al. (2018) Using spatial measures to test a conceptual model of social infrastructure that supports health and wellbeing. Cities & Health, 1:2, 194-209,
  • Badland H, Foster S, Bentley R, Higgs C, Roberts R, Pettit C, et al. (2017) Examining associations between area-level spatial measures of housing with selected health and wellbeing behaviours and outcomes in an urban context. Health & Place.43:17-24.
  • Minstrell M, Bentley M, Bucher H, Morrissey M, Higgs C, Robinson A & Stirling, C (2014) Open referral policy within a nurse-led memory clinic: patient demographics, assessment scores, and diagnostic profiles. International Psychogeriatrics.1-13.

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