22 November 2012 — The Heart Foundation has won the inaugural 2012 Pet Friendly Planning Award. The award was launched in July by the Planning Institute of Australia and the Petcare Information Advisory Service. The Foundation won for its planning and design tool, Matrix of Design Considerations, that encourages the consideration of dogs in public open spaces. One of the judges, Susan Thompson, associate professor and director of the Healthy Built Environments Program at the University of NSW,  said planning had to consider complex and sometimes conflicting needs of all members of society, including dog owners. “We are living closer together in apartments and townhouses with smaller private outdoor areas. As a result, public parks are more important than ever because they have to meet multiple needs of city dwellers and their pets. Planning guidelines must ensure that public spaces are well designed and supportive of healthy communities.”