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Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

Carl Higgs is a Research Fellow and PhD student in the Healthy Liveable Cities Lab of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University, with a background in spatial epidemiology and computational statistics. Methods and tools Carl has developed have supported calculation and dissemination of policy-relevant spatial urban indicators for cities in Australia and internationally using open data and an open science ethos. The data generated from these projects have been linked with geocoded survey participant locations to better understand how urban environments influence health and wellbeing, and empower policy makers and planners with the evidence needed to enact change.


  • 2021–present
    Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University
  • 2016–2021
    Research Officer, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University
  • 2015–2017
    Research Assistant, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
  • 2015–2015
    Sessional Teaching Associate, Monash University
  • 2010–2012
    Research Assistant, Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre, University of Tasmania


  • 2018 
    University of Melbourne / Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia, Master of Biostatistics
  • 2015 
    University of Melbourne, Master of Public Health (epidemiology and biostatistics)
  • 2009 
    University of Tasmania, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
  • 2006 
    University of Tasmania, Bachelor of Arts - Bachelor of Fine Arts


  • 2023
    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.,
  • 2023
    Adlakha D, Higgs C, Sallis F (2023) Growing evidence that activity-friendly neighbourhoods can mitigate non-communicable and infectious disease risk. Cities and Health.,
  • 2022
    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.,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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.. ,
  • 2022
    Giles-Corti B, Saghapour T, Turrell G, Gunn L, Both A, Lowe M … Higgs C (2022) Spatial and socioeconomic inequities in liveability in Australia’s 21 largest cities: Does city size matter? Health & place. 78:102899. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2022
    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. ,
  • 2021
    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. ,
  • 2021
    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. ,
  • 2020
    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. ,
  • 2020
    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.,
  • 2020
    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. ,
  • 2020
    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. ,
  • 2019
    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. ,

Professional Memberships

  • Statistical Society of Australia
  • International Society for Urban Health
  • Association for Computing Machinery

Research Areas

  • Urban Analysis And Development (120507)
  • Open Software (080306)
  • Geospatial Information Systems (090903)
  • Epidemiology (111706)