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’s 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|
|Out of school hours care||1600|
|Education||Government primary schools||1600|
|Government secondary schools||1600|
|Health and Social Services||Residential aged care facilities||1000|
|General practitioners (GP)||1000|
|Maternal, child and family health centers||1000|
|Other community health care centers||1000|
|Sport and Recreation||Public swimming pools||1200|
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