The retrofitting of our post WWII suburbs will be a major focus for policy makers, designers and developers. The opportunity is to quantify burgeoning consumer demand and enable an emerging form of urbanism - away from the city centre.
Image - Education City Dve Springfield QLD AUS: student Housing in the emerging regional Centre of Springfield. An example of urbanism in the suburbs designed by Deicke Richards.
By any measure Australia has great cities full of remarkable urbanism - getting better by the day. As Peter has previously discussed in his blog The State of Australian Urbanism, they benefit from:
- high density,
- compact development with old and new offices and mixed-use developments with less car parking,
- excellent public transport,
- infrastructure and remarkable public buildings and
- great streets,public spaces and parks.
A strong urban mindset prevails, combined with an underlying congruence between policy making and delivery by Government and private sector. Developers build urbanism because someone wants to have an office in it or live in it, even apartments!
Has this success created issues for urbanism in suburban and regional Australia? Perhaps city centres have been so successful they drain investment away from other places? Whatever the reason, the urban mindset that flourishes in the city finds it hard to venture out to the urban fringe, especially in newer areas.
And yet according to Ellen Dunham Jones in the USA:
- 85% of households in 2025 will not have kids
- 77% of Millenniums/Gen Y want to live in urban core
- 75% of retiring baby boomers say they want mixed use and mixed age
We need to future proof the suburbs for burgeoning consumer demand for urbanism. We can provide the benefits customers want - affordable housing; affordable living; safety; fitness – physically and mentally; less money on transport; more time, less congestion; convenience; choice and opportunities. In doing so we also save money, as Joe Nickol states "in a world where slow growth is normal, society can't afford the costs of our shopping centres"Add a comment