When urban density becomes desirable

Some words of wisdom from Beth Dungey – our research guru! happy reading!

The Sydney lobby group Urban Taskforce and McCrindle Research have developed the Urban Living Index using data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to measure the liveability of Sydney’s suburbs.

The Urban Living Index measures liveability using the five areas of affordability, community, employability, amenity and accessibility.

The Index found a link between density and liveability with some of Sydney’s densest suburbs being amongst its most liveable.

Urban density had a bad name in years gone by.

For many countries, in the post war years, urban density (flats and apartments) was associated with social housing and the need to quickly and economically house some of the less affluent members of our community.

Those areas didn’t always have the community, employability, amenity and accessibility features that create great places to live.

As a result, urban density came to be associated with urban wastelands, crime and community unrest.  Lack of employment nearby reduced opportunities for the community to improve, compounding the level of disadvantage in the area.

At the same time, the more affluent members of our community fled to the suburbs, leading to the increased suburbanisation we see today in many cities around the world.

Today, with great place planning, urban areas are making a comeback.

We have TODs – transit oriented developments – where places are designed around walkability and non-car transport alternatives; a range of facilities and amenities encouraging people to live, work and play close to home; and diverse property uses to facilitate a liveable community.

Even where the car is still king, urban density today will include a mix of residential and commercial property uses, which encourage people into the community in the daytime (to work) as well as after hours (to live and play).

Increases in the working and residential population of an area encourages retail, restaurants and cafes, and service businesses to open up in the area.  These create amenity for the residents and workers, create even more jobs, improve the diversity of people in the area and help to create a dynamic community.

Today, urban density is becoming more desirable as the liveability of these areas increases.  And this is certainly the case for Perth as we enter the next stage of property evolution!

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