Is Melbourne as dense as Hong Kong?

Glenn - The Census Expert

Glenn is our resident Census expert. After ten years working at the ABS, Glenn's deep knowledge of the Census has been a crucial input in the development of our community profiles. These tools help everyday people uncover the rich and important stories about our communities that are often hidden deep in the Census data. Glenn is also our most prolific blogger - if you're reading this, you've just finished reading one of his blogs. Take a quick look at the front page of our blog and you'll no doubt find more of Glenn's latest work. As a client manager, Glenn travels the country giving sought-after briefings to councils and communities (these are also great opportunities for Glenn to tend to his rankings in Geolocation games such as Munzee and Geocaching).

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    A lot (all?) of the population density figures in this article are incorrect. They are too high by a factor of ten.

    For example, you claimed that ‘the City of Port Phillip is actually the densest, at 495 people per hectare (2013)’.

    Using the following figures from Wikipedia (which are possibly incorrect, but not by a factor of ten):
    Population 100,443 (2012)
    Area 20.62 km2

    There are 100 hectares per square kilometre. (I think this is where you went wrong, and used a value of 10)

    This gives an area of 2062 hectares.

    The calculation is 100443 / 2062 = 48.7

    So the correct density is 48.7 people per hectare, not 495.

    The other density values given in this article appear to be also out by a factor of 10.

    • Thanks Ben, good pickup. I’ve fixed the population densities in there. I’m not sure how that happened. I know there are 100 hectares in a square kilometre!

      It makes the quoted density seem all the more incongruous though – which is based purely on drawing a tight boundary around a few buildings.

  2. Alex says:

    Ok, let’s read the first sentence of the article together here.
    “High-rise apartment towers in central Melbourne are being built at four times the maximum densities allowed in some of the world’s most crowded cities, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, a scathing new report finds.”

    In the VERY FIRST SENTENCE of this article, he clearly states that this allegation of the population density in Melbourne being twice of that of Hong Kong is in relation to ‘High-rise apartment towers’, and not to the entire city. However, this is the greater fear, that one day our city will become too dense over time as many of these blocks (both at the time the article was written and now) have been approved and many more keep coming. The point was also that in contrast to other major cities around the world, when developers want to build towers with such high densities, they’re required to develop the area in other ways, by building a park or other community facilities. There is no such policy in place here.

    So nit pick all you will about your imagined sleights of manipulating data, but you missed the message, which is that this is the first step in many to becoming an uninhabitable city.

    I challenge you to look up on Wikipedia, cities by population density, and then compare those with the highest density, to how they are ranked in terms of how liveable they are.

    Further to that, the density issue is also extending to the suburbs, where aggressive investors are building inappropriate, high density apartment buildings and unit complexes, which the communities tend to protest against because they’re deplorable. However, often nothing can be done by protest because there is policy in place to ensure anything within 1km of majority of public transport stops is exempt from community protest. This in turn is not just making the city an uncomfortable and unsustainable place, but it’s driving the property market bonkers.

  3. Cole Hendrigan says:

    Density in itself is not bad, it brings workers closer to jobs and fills shops with shoppers. Hopefully everyone walks or bikes rather than drives.

    However, there have to be jobs and shops (and schools and parks…and ..) to make this work.

    Even if this collection of projects is denser than somewhere else, the question is if the city is measurably richer (by quantifiable meters of spaces to live/work/rest/play) for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

.id blog