Building the connection between housing needs and metropolitan planning in Sydney, Australia

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The theme of a more compact city has been a central feature of planning policy for Sydney's development over the last two decades. Urban consolidation, in the form of attached dwellings in medium- and high-density configurations, has become the predominant form of new residential development since the early 1990s. One of the largely untested claims for this policy is that it provides more housing choice for an increasingly diverse population and that simply building larger amounts of smaller housing in high-density concentrations will be sufficient to meet that demand. As a result, planning for higher density housing has been undertaken with little explicit recognition of the housing sub-markets higher density housing caters for or their specific spatial characteristics within the city. These issues are examined by an analysis of the socio-economic characteristics of areas with high concentrations of attached housing. These data are processed by factor analysis to identify and locate the range of sub-markets within attached housing and additional small area data used to fill out the market profiling. The results reveal that a range of specific housing needs are met by this form of housing with discriminative characteristics in certain locations. In other words, higher density housing is associated with a range of locationally specific and spatially distinctive sub-markets. These findings are particularly relevant and timely as a new metropolitan strategy is in preparation for Sydney where an estimated 60-70 per cent of new dwelling provision in the next 30 years will take place within existing suburbs through higher density redevelopment. Planning for such development must take into account the local markets for such accommodation which have very different characteristics in different parts of the city.
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Bunker, R
Holloway, D
Randolph, B
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