Australia’s cities face significant social, economic and environmental challenges, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation. The pressure to increase the availability of housing, including a move to a more compact urban form, will lead to greater levels of high-density and medium-density stock. This research is attentive to the lack of medium-density dwellings and associated planning instruments to support and encourage increased medium-density living.
In the global push to lowering our carbon emissions by transitioning to renewable energy production and improving energy efficiency epitomised in the Paris Agreement in 2015, the importance of housing tenure to the adoption of low carbon living, particularly for those on lower incomes, is often not fully appreciated. Lower-income households are more likely to be renters on social benefits, and have limited ability to afford either the normally higher priced energy efficient appliances or access renewables due to the problem of split incentives.
Cities are comprised of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small parcels of individually owned land. The fractured nature of these tenures, combined with the network of administrative and infrastructural bodies governing them, makes any form of significant and coordinated planning change incredibly complicated, if not untenable. This plurality, of both ownership and regulation, necessitates that stakeholder negotiation across the range of stakeholder groups is required to affect any meaningful change; particularly in an urban context.