Indicator Rationale

Social infrastructure refers to community and individual support services and resources such as health, education, early childhood, community support, community development, culture, sport and recreation, parks and emergency services.  The provision of well-planned social infrastructure supports the liveability of communities by promoting walking and community social interaction.  Similarly, it is associated with people‚Äôs improved physical and mental health and their increased satisfaction with the area in which they live.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals


Social Infrastructure Index

Average distance to closest playground


Access to social infrastructure was calculated based on six measures: Community Centres, Culture and Leisure, Early Years, Education, Health and Social Services and Sport and Recreation. These measures were measured by 16 individual service types which were used to calculate the presence of service mix within a threshold distance as shown in the table below.

Measure Destination Distance Threshold (m)
Community Centres Community centres 1000
Culture & Leisure Museum/Art gallery 3200
Cinema/Theatre 3200
Libraries 1000
Early Years Childcare 800
Out of school hours care 1600
Education Government primary schools 1600
Government secondary schools 1600
Health and Social Services Residential aged care facilities 1000
Dentists 1000
General practitioners (GP) 1000
Maternal, child and family health centers 1000
Other community health care centers 1000
Pharmacies 1000
Sport and Recreation Public swimming pools 1200
Sports facilities 1000

Binary indicators were used to record the presence (=1) or absence (=0) for the 16 types of social infrastructure destinations and a social infrastructure mix score was created by summing the 16 binary indicators for each participant. Consequently, a maximum score of 16 represented the highest mix of social infrastructure with all types present. 


Davern M, Gunn L, Whitzman C, Higgs C, Giles-Corti B, Simons K, Villanueva K, Mavoa S, Roberts R, Badland H. (2017). Using spatial measures to test a conceptual model of social infrastructure that supports health and wellbeing; Cities and Health. vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 194-209