July 31 2013

Shadows of Doubt: Will Melbourne’s Planned Density Affect Its Liveability

As Melbourne’s population grows, our city’s planners are pushing for densification. By concentrating growth, Melbourne is hoping to ease the strain on housing supply by promoting smaller lot sizes, as well as ease the burden by extending infrastructure to its urban fringes.

However, a by-product of this densification is the physical dominance that high-rise developments have on city precincts. This phenomenon is being experienced in Melbourne’s CBD and inner urban areas. The push and shove between planners and developers has made the ability for development to protect view lines, preserve open space, and minimize the bulkiness of built form harder to achieve as home buyers for affordable inner-city housing.

Melbourne's density

The following issues are held by Melbournians against high-scale development:

  • The shadowing of private open space, as well as parks;
  • Accelerating winds and the creation of wind tunnels from skyscrapers;
  • Lack of privacy with apartment and commercial developments; and
  • Development of cool micro-climates at the bottom of buildings.

A current worry for Melbournians is the effect the development of the Federation Square East site will have on the city. The site’s development proposes to shadow two of the city’s most significant public precinct developments, Southbank and Federation Square, of the last twenty years.

Personally, I find the biggest issue with density to be the antisocial behavior that stems from the design of high scale developments. As developers begin to provide amenities such as on site gym/recreational facilities and restaurants, residents are indirectly deterring Melbournians from venturing out of their elevated comfort zones.

How can contemporary cities embrace density?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Steven Petsinis

Steven Petsinis is an Urban Planning graduate from Melbourne, Australia. He has been involved in Urban Research and Development projects in Medellin, Colombia and Saigon, Vietnam and is currently pursuing his masters in Melbourne, Australia. His main interests lie in land use and social planning, sustainability, as well as studies involving globalization and it's effect on third world communities. He has recently spent one year travelling throughout North and South America, as well as Europe, where he has gathered material and inspiration for his upcoming blogs for The Grid.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 at 9:14 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Land Use, Social/Demographics, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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