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.
This paper draws from research undertaken by the authors for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) that scoped the processes and inputs needed for establishing a new redevelopment model in Australia’s middle suburbs, with a particular focus on Melbourne (Newton et al 2011). The research comprised a series of investigative panels that were designed to facilitate engagement between leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of urban policy, design and development.
This project sought to address three areas of policy concern in relation to dispersed and ageing public housing properties in inner and middle ring suburbs: how to find new ways to accommodate population increases; how to create affordable and diverse housing options; how to manage ageing housing stock; and how to maximise the use of existing infrastructure and amenity.