Women's perspectives on liveability in vertical communities: a feminist materialist approach

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Reid, Sacha
Lloyd, Kathy
O'Brien, Wendy
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2017
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Abstract

Vertical communities are increasing as cities adopt compact planning approaches. However, the neoliberal urban development approach is often male dominated and reflective of male values and interests [Fainstein, S. 2001. The City Builders: Property Development in New York and London 1980–2000. 2nd ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas]. For women, changing demographic and societal trends linked to marriage, family and household composition, have led to increasing rates of female residential investment in and occupation of, high-density developments. Little research has focused on this growing owner/occupier market. A qualitative approach framed with a material-discursive lens was used to explore women’s perceptions of liveability and consumption of space within vertical communities. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 25 females in South-East Queensland described experiences of liveability that were influenced by the materiality of apartments and buildings that created unsafe and inappropriate spaces for children as well as affective relations of distance rather than sociality. To avoid the problems plagued by high-rise projects overseas and in Australia in earlier decades, a greater focus on women’s needs should be considered in urban research and planning. Planners, developers and other professionals need to look beyond the investor driven stock currently provided to ensure sustainable and liveable housing options for this important emerging market.

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Australian Planner

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54

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1

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© 2017 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australian Planner on 19 Mar 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/07293682.2017.1297315

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Gender studies

Urban and regional planning

Urban sociology and community studies

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