Can housing diversity be achieved in new growth areas?

Richard - Team Forecast

Richard has a background in urban planning, regeneration and social housing. He previously worked in the housing sector in the UK and for the Victorian Government. He produces population forecasts for local government areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Queensland, Regional Victoria and New Zealand. He regularly presents on the policy implications and challenges of demographic change for a variety of audiences on both sides of the Tasman. Richard enjoys spending time with his kids, camping and playing the piano.

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1 Response

  1. Scott says:

    I think we need a complete change of thinking around this from many different people involved with property, especially in light of our aging population.

    Some of Melbourne and Sydney’s inner suburbs give glimpses of what is possible. For example, In Carlton, Victoria, there are 3-4 storey terrace hoses built around a village green, which is large enough to hold a bocce club, a playground, and to allow teenagers to kick a football around.

    As a result, the density is much higher than usual, and everyone has a green place they can exercise and relax in, as well as having small gardens facing the street.

    Given that this allows many more people across varied generations to access a range of services easily, it staggers me that this type of housing does not appear more often. I am not sure if it has to do with planning regulations, or if our property developers are completely retarded and gutless; I suspect both.

    If we are going to get gradually higher density, why aren’t we building more houses/apartments in a way that supprts roof gardens, removing the need for front and back gardens, and allowing for a fair amount of privacy if thoughtfully designed?

    We should also be seeing some sort of hosuing designs that allow for 3 generations to live either on top of, or next to, each other – even having sliding walls within houses that can be soundproofed and locked. That way, elderly parents can be available for childcare if needed, but can also have their own space, while the sandwich generation have the peace of mind of knowing their parents are OK.

    Finally, people should look at Jigsaw Housing – they held a competition in 2011 to actually ask people what they wanted (as opposed to arrogantly thinking they already knew!), to try to bring the cost of construction down. Turns out that not all of us “need” a second bedroom.

    I refuse to buy a house at present, based on the fact that it is mostly rubbish being built, and is ridiculously overpriced. Surely our developers are awake to the fact that they need to do something different, that they cannot just build the same garbage they have since WW2?

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