Australia is increasingly linked to a fast-growing global population. The populations of Sydney and Melbourne are both expected to exceed 8.5 million by 2061. What will Australia’s cities look like then? Will they still be among the world’s lowest-density cities?
Such sprawling cities result in economic (productivity), social (spatial disadvantage) and environmental weaknesses (including a very big ecological footprint). Can our cities transform themselves to become more competitive, sustainable, liveable, resilient and inclusive?
Australian governments at all levels aspire to these goals, but they require multiple transitions. The prospects of success depend on the transformative capacity of four groups of stakeholders: state government, local government, the property development industry, and community residents.
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Due to the unsustainable nature of urban sprawl, Australian metropolitan strategies have increasing been pushing for increased levels of infill: the redevelopment of existing urban (typically residential) land. However, the current infill models of Brownfield and lot-by-lot redevelopment are largely incapable of generating the volume or range of future housing needs. This issue has led to increased attention being placed on greyfield redevelopment, and in particular regeneration precincts, as a way to encourage more efficient reuse of land.
Metropolitan planning and development of Australia’s cities has been strongly influenced by what could be termed the “North American model” of low-density, car-dependent suburban development on greenfield master-planned housing estates. But this is all set to change.
This article examines infill housing development in Melbourne, Australia's second largest and fastest growing capital city. It highlights the existence of two infill segments - brownfields and greyfields - each with distinctive patterns of development that need to be better understood if urban regeneration is to figure significantly in delivering more liveable and sustainable cities.
This paper explores the redevelopment potential of ageing and underutilised public housing properties in the middle suburbs of major Australian cities. State governments lack strategies for the renewal of this housing in the current fiscally constrained environment. Responding to this need, this paper presents a design research project that proposes a coordinated, precinct-based regeneration strategy that involves the redevelopment of clusters of public housing lots that are in close proximity to each other.