University of Tasmania
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Suburban consolidation : the future of the Australian dream?

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posted on 2023-05-27, 18:36 authored by Richardson, MC
It has become the conventional wisdom in planning that the Australian dream of a detached house on a large block is no longer an appropriate form of development to cater for the future housing and lifestyle needs of the urban population. For social, economic and environmental reasons, \urban consolidation\" is promoted as a way of achieving a more compact accessible and sustainable suburban form. Consolidation aims to achieve improvements m the quality price efficiency and range of housing by: ‚Äö reducing urban sprawl; ‚Äö increasing the efficiency of infrastructure provision; ‚Äö making housing more affordable; ‚Äö providing housing diversity; ‚Äö improving the design of residential environments. In addressing these issues urban consolidation policy focuses on the density and form of suburban housing. These are the central issues for discussion in this project. The project sets out to analyse the role and meaning of the Australian suburban form and in that context to investigate how policies of urban consolidation might be implemented to produce real improvements in the residential environment. Space is the central issue. It is why suburbia exists and consolidation is promoted. Little research has been conducted on the changing role of space in the suburbs. Unless we understand the role of private suburban space urban consolidation may provide simplistic and impractical solutions. The following assertions arise from the analysis: ‚Äö There is an intimate relationship - etween the function of space on the suburban block and the culture and lifestyle of suburbia. ‚Äö The predominant forms of altemativ~ housing currently being developed offer few of the advantages of the traditional suburban form. ‚Äö The methods used in planning practi:e which dictate the form of residential space do not lead to good design in residential development. The main conclusion is that: ‚Äö The resultant forms of consolidated housing are a poor compromise which lose the advantages of suburbia without substantially delivering any of the supposed benefits of urban consolidation. Given the pressing need for a new approach to suburban planning it is necessary to question what exactly is being done to achieve change in the outcomes of suburban development. Are the policies now being pursued 3ufficient to resolve the suburban problem? Or do they represent a form of planning compromise which creates more problems than it solves? Most importantly alternative approaches are sought which might produce modem suburban environments that satisfy the Australian dream"


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Thesis (M.T.P.)--University of Tasmania, 1996. Includes bibliographical references

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