A new research paper claims residents in six outer Melbourne growth municipalities are dealing with considerable lifestyle challenges.

The paper, titled How Big, How Fast and at What Cost?, from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, at The University of Melbourne, focuses on Wyndham, Melton, Cardinia, Casey, Hume and Whittlesea.

The paper states that these areas have experienced a decline in the proportion of people living near public transport, an increase in car use to travel to work and more individual commutes to work exceeding two hours.

The paper said other common issues included increased rates of heart disease and obesity; “relatively poorer levels” of child development on entering schools, relatively higher levels of youth unemployment and proportionately lower levels of social capital.

“Cheaper housing and better access to open space, which may attract people to outer suburban living, comes at a price, commonly associated with the lower population and job densities at greater distances from central Melbourne,” the paper stated.

Wyndham council’s director of city economy, innovation and liveability, Peter McKinnon said the council was “aware that it needs to attract more business and investment to Wyndham and we are actively planning to grow the economy”.

“We are passionate about promoting Wyndham and feel it has much to offer investors from its proximity to Avalon and Tullamarine airports, its accessibility to Melbourne and regional Victoria and its growing number of highly skilled and educated residents eager to gain employment locally,” he said.