Humanising High-Density 1 August 2016
Liam Proberts was recently invited to be the contributing editor for the August issue of InfoLink Building Product News Magazine.
Medium to high-density multi-residential developments play a major part in shaping the urban fabric of our cities. They are necessary and healthy for our city life.
Looking back to the 1970’s, Australia’s cities were dead. The city was a place to go to work in, before returning home to live out the great Australian dream on a few hundred square metres in the suburbs.However, we’ve since seen projects respond to the increasing need for diversity in living. Over the last 30-40 years of re-engaging with the city, we’ve witnessed a number of development booms.
With each boom, we become more and more educated about how to live in a growing city and how to balance the work and home environments. This urbanisation is creating a shift in the way people are living, and creating dense, urban, liveable cities.
To meet this demand, efficient, high-density residential developments certainly hold their place in the market. The risk with these developments is that they lose their character or sense of identity.
It’s no longer enough to just live in the city in a basic apartment with a gym in the basement and a cafe out the front. The market’s expectations of lifestyle and amenity are much more sophisticated than a few years ago and developers are starting to respond to these needs.
Today people are making the choice to live in apartments, instead of a house. Multi-residential living no longer has a stigma, and we see singles, couples and young families taking up long-term residence in inner city apartments.
They are often owner-occupiers who want the best of both worlds — the individuality and comfort you’d expect in a single dwelling in the suburbs, within the urban environment of the inner city.
We’re creating more and more developments that mirror the characteristics of permanent residential homes rather than just bland investment properties.
This market is also balancing out of the importance of location with the importance of lifestyle in the design of these developments — residents want both.
Multi-use elements of projects (such as integrated retail, dining, entertainment and transport facilities) will become more sophisticated as urban communities develop and demand better services and amenity.
So too will green space and landscaping designs become more innovative, and will be integrated seamlessly throughout entire buildings, not just on the ground plane.
As people explore these new increasingly diverse and innovative living options, more and more people, from all walks of life are choosing high-density.