Sydney has many different demographic groups who each want to live and work in different built environments
“There are many different demographic groups and many ways that people want to live at varying stages of their lives.”
Sydney more than most cities in the world has a rich cosmopolitan mix of different cultures. Just look at the variety of restaurants from Asia, Europe, South America or Africa along main streets like King Street in Newtown. With the waves of immigration from Europe followed by Asia, Africa and America has come a more cosmopolitan character to the city and a greater diversity of where people want to live. Our predominantly suburban housing model is now being complemented by more urban models with 25.8% of Sydney households now living in apartments.
This website sets out to link our demographic diversity to a need for housing diversity and to promote a range of housing types of varying densities in varying locations. As the NSW planning system moves to a focus on strategic planning that involves communities in shaping the future character of their neighbourhoods there will be a need to demonstrate good examples of housing alternatives. In this edition of Urban Ideas we profile seven types of housing based on height and then demonstrate examples of these types through real projects by our developer members.
We believe that the community must understand the different density impacts from different housing types and that there is a relationship between the density and the amount of land required for development. Two storey suburban houses, for instance, will require 15 times more land than six storey apartments for the same number of dwellings.
To give some focus to our publication we are using 7 types of housing defined by 7 different storey heights. We have developed an ‘R’ code with the ‘R’ meaning ‘Residential’ and we will explain R2, R4, R6, R8, R12, R25 and R35+. Related to these 7 housing types are 7 demographic groups that enjoy living in each type.
Of course there are many different demographic groups and many different ways that people want to live at varying stages of their lives. Our planning system must respond to this diversity by encouraging a variety of housing types in differing locations.
The involvement of communities in the planning process must be through all the demographic groups and must not become captured by one particular group. Some groups may have more time to be involved but this does not mean they represent other groups. This publication is partly representing the variety of community groups that are part of our society and partly advocating on behalf of future members of the community to ensure there will be somewhere for them to live.