Dr Alex Macmillan


Public health physician, Senior lecturer - environmental health

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago


Alex Macmillan's research focuses on the links between urban environments, sustainability and health. Her main interests are in translating evidence about sustainability and health into policy by bringing together policy, community and academic knowledge and modelling future policy options. Particular areas of interest are transport, urban planning and housing policies. Alex is also involved in community based epidemiological research to understand the impacts of changing urban environments.

Current research projects include:

  • Te Ara Mua - Future Streets: An intervention study to make the streets of Mangere Central safer and more attractive for walking and cycling, and to study the effects on health and wellbeing.
  • Integrated decision-making about housing, energy and wellbeing: Using participatory system dynamics modelling with over 30 different stakeholders in UK housing policy to understand the integrated costs and benefits of policies to decarbonise housing.

More information and contact details


Health, fairness and New Zealand’s contribution to global post–2020 climate change actionNew Zealand Medical Journal, 9 May 2015, 128:1415
The societal costs and benefits of commuter bicycling: Simulating the effects of specific policies using system dynamics modelingEnvironmental Health Perspectives, 122(4), 335-344, 2014
100 unintended consequences of policies to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stockIndoor & Built Environment, 23(3), 340-352, 2014
Indigenous Māori perspectives on urban transport patterns linked to health and wellbeingHealth & Place, 23, 54-62, 2013
Achieving healthy urban planning: A comparison of three methodsCommissioned by Ministry of Health. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Health, 2012
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Moving urban trips from cars to bicycles: Impact on health and emissionsAustralian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(1), 54-60, 2011