Alarmist polling that indicates that two thirds of Sydney residents say the city is full, reflect the tensions from change, says the Urban Taskforce.
“The Fairfax-ReachTel poll that indicates two thirds of Sydney residents say the city is full reflects concerns about change but avoids the reality of Sydney moving from a suburban to an urban model,” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “The average size of the Australian detached house is the highest in the world and it not hard to see how this also leads to Sydney house prices being one of the least affordable in the world. The two thirds of Sydney siders who oppose more development in Sydney are likely to be those that own suburban houses while those who support the development of inner metropolitan Sydney are likely to be those looking for affordable homes.”
“Recent research by the University of Melbourne has shown that the average area per person for an Australian house has tripled from 1950 to 87 square metres a person. Research by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey puts Sydney as the second least affordable city of 92 world cities. Clearly there is a link between these two statistics and house size and affordability must be managed as Sydney grows.”
“Sydney is not full but it is going through a major generational change as it evolves from a suburban model with large houses to a more urban model with smaller homes close to amenities. As the swing to more cosmopolitan urban living continues it is to be expected that this change will be uncomfortable for the residents of the suburban model. By focussing the smaller apartments in denser areas around railway stations will give the children and grand-children of suburban families opportunities to buy into affordable housing. Younger generations are also increasingly interested in more urban cosmopolitan lifestyles that come with a shared economy approach.”
“The Urban Taskforce responds to where people want to live and increasingly this is in inner metropolitan areas of Sydney where public transport and access to jobs is available. The planners for Sydney’s future must champion the evolution of the city in a way that is fair for all and not be diverted by populist concerns that Sydney is full which would only lead to Melbourne taking over as Australia’s leading city.