Sustainable and Affordable Housing
Australia is in the midst of an ongoing housing crisis. Swelling urban populations have seen a marked decline in housing affordability in recent decades. The traditional ‘housing solution’ has been to build cheap housing on the urban fringe. But rising infrastructure costs, automobile dependence, habitat and biodiversity loss, social alienation and health problems make that approach less viable. The alternative of accommodating populations at increasing housing densities in city centres has resulted in declining access to green space, fewer play-spaces for children, increasing noise, social polarisation, jobs/skills mismatches, plus questionable environmental performance. Densification has done little to redress the affordability crisis (see chapter 15). Global environmental problems such as climate change are demanding a rethink of housing design, to reduce resource use and make housing more resilient to environmental change. This chapter offers an environmental planning perspective on Australian housing crisis, in its historical and current form.
Australian Environmental Planning: Challenges and Future Prospects
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified