What Makes Inner City High Density Liveable? Insight from Residents in Brisbane, Australia

Laurie Buys, Desley Vine, Evonne Miller

Abstract


Australia’s urban form and planning has shifted from traditional individual dwellings on spacious suburban blocks towards higher density urban consolidation. Despite relatively strong market demand for inner city high density (ICHD) living, there is ongoing need to explore and understand the aspects that make this urban form liveable and sustainable. The purpose of this research is to explore the viewpoints of current ICHD residents to better understand the liveability and sustainability matters that affect their everyday experiences and perceptions of this urban form.  Qualitative interviews with 24 ICHD Brisbane (Australia) residents illustrates their perceptions and experiences of liveability and the ways in which it is broadly understood within three main domains and nine key sub-concepts, including: individual dwelling (thermal comfort, natural light and balconies, noise mitigation), building complex (shared space, good neighbour protocols, environmental sustainability) and the community (transport, amenities, sense of community). Focussing on the experience of ICHD residents, this research highlights the ways in which multiple aspects of the immediate living environment, the dwelling, building complex and the community intertwine to provide residents with a liveable space. The results show that urban features that reflect current societal pressure for greater sustainability such as lower energy use are the exact same features sought by ICHD residents in determining their liveability.  By highlighting the aspects current ICHD residents value most about their dwellings, buildings and communities, these findings will help inform policy-makers, planners, developers and designers as they create urban spaces and dwellings that are more liveable and sustainable.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v2i1.3099

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