Changing housing landscapes: How baby boomers are implicit in urban transformations
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This paper focuses on the influence that baby boomer lifestyle preferences have had and are having on the production of the Australian Dream of home ownership in suburbia. It will look in particular at the phenomenon of Master Planned Communities (MPCs) and the recent mutation of this entity: the Active Adult Lifestyle Community (AALC). The planning techniques and practices of both these residential landscapes are linked to specific ideals of community and understandings of the good life. As such, these types of development reinforce and reproduce the Australian Dream idyll. This 'dream' has remained influential over the boomers' life-course. The aim of the paper is to trace some of the transformations in Australian suburban housing landscapes as they relate to the baby boomer cohorts. This historical mapping illustrates some of the impacts and implications that this generational cohort has had and is having in transforming and informing Australia's housing landscapes and the lived experiences these landscapes produce. The paper agues that the Australian Dream of homeownership in suburbia has remained largely unaltered over the last 50 to 60 years. However the housing landscapes that this 'dream' has inspired have transformed over the years to reflect the dominant political environment of the time and place. Understanding the histories of boomer housing landscapes is critical if future housing landscapes are to be viable, equitable and liveable, especially given current debates about climate change, an ageing population, social polarisation and social isolation
Urban Transformations: Booms, Busts and other Catastrophes
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History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture)