Without medium-density housing being built in the established suburbs – the ‘missing middle’ – the goals of more compact, sustainable and equitable cities won’t be achieved.
Residents of established middle suburbs are slowly coming round to the idea, but governments and the property sector lack the capacity to deliver compact cities that are acceptable to the community.
BreezyInt / shutterstock
Autonomous vehicles have many benefits, but they may be bad news for nature conservation.
How can we limit urban sprawl?
How do you prevent urban sprawl? Researchers look to a program in New Mexico for an answer.
Protesters against the Roe 8 project make their voices heard outside WA Premier Colin Barnett’s office.
Beeliar Wetlands Supporter
Campaigners in Perth are fighting the destruction of bushland for a new highway. They have two of three historically important factors on their side.
More than any other Australian city, Melbourne has led a 30-year turnaround in inner-city density (red indicates increases and blue decreases in density as persons per square kilometre).
Many factors have influenced population density change in Australian cities over the past 30 years. Melbourne has led the way in inner-city rebirth as a way to help manage future growth.
The continued preference for detached housing in new suburbs is driving Perth’s urban sprawl and means two-thirds of dwellings built over the next 15 years need to be on infill sites to meet the state’s target.
Government and industry need to demonstrate the benefits of well-designed higher-density housing. Rich residential display projects may be the ideal catalyst for creating smarter cities.
Suburban expansion on Perth’s fringe pushes into the SouthWest Ecoregion.
Richard Weller/Donna Broun
If Perth can preserve the rich biodiversity of its setting, it will become a model for sustainable city development that fully connects with the value of natural ecosystem services.
A colorized 1937 photograph of a shantytown on the outskirts of Seattle.
Like Brazil’s favela dwellers, America’s working poor felt a sense of pride and community in their shantytowns – and desperately resisted the powerful interests that sought to demolish them.
Banksia woodlands are home to thousands of plant species.
The Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain are home to thousands of species, many unique. But they are gradually being swallowed by Perth, one of the world’s most sprawling cities.
The likes of Sheffield, Bilbao and Leipzig have staged a spectacular comeback.
Proposed developments in Brisbane illustrate the scale of urban consolidation.
flickr/Brisbane City Council
In the media, urban consolidation is often depicted as a threat to Australian suburban life. In reality, it’s a result of managed planning processes to ensure growing cities remain liveable.
Clinging on: Carnaby’s black cockatoo has already lost much of its habitat.
Plans for managing Perth’s rapid urban growth have been touted as green. But they still look like robbing the iconic Carnaby’s black cockatoo of yet more crucial habitat.
Malcolm Turnbull is known to favour public transport, but he also sees the need to twin the development of higher-density activity centres with rail infrastructure.
The ‘30-minute city’ goal is about more than urban rail and other transit projects. It means transforming our cities into centres of activity where work, study and services are all close by.
Sydney’s farms on the urban fringe produce 10% of the city’s fresh vegetables.
Farms on Sydney’s fringes supply 20% of the city’s food. That could drop by more than half if urban sprawl isn’t kept in check.
Carrots from farms on Melbourne’s urban fringe.
Australians may need to get used to coping with more disruptions to their food supply and rising food prices in a warming climate.
New season asparagus from farmland on Melbourne’s city fringe.
Melbourne’s farms currently supply over 40% of the city’s food. But a growing population and urban sprawl mean by 2050 they’ll supply half as much.
Having all your green in one place or not has been taxing urban planners for some time.
Australian cities are increasingly building up rather than building out.
Speaking with: Hazel Easthope on high density living and design.
Higher density housing provides unique challenges that make the mix of design, build and social considerations all the more important in creating sustainable and enjoyable living environments.
The inner suburbs of Melbourne are surprisingly more leafy than the outer suburbs.
When you look out of your window in the morning, how many trees do you see? Your answer might depend on what suburb you live in. As you go further from the city centre, the amount of tree cover in a suburb…
Some rat, possum and mozzie species thrive when living close to people.
Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50% and rising. By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are…