I’m a supporter of higher density, as my post last week on the Randwick Council housing plan decision probably suggested. I think it helps in building walkable communities, improved public transport and more sustainable living. But whatever your views on the pros and cons of density, there is undeniably a link between urban planning and transport. Where we live determines where we go and, more importantly, how we get there.
There’s a couple of articles/talks/documentaries which I think cover these topics really well, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone interested in contemporary housing/transport in Sydney.
Housing for Millions – This is a Background Briefing piece on how Australian cities will manage the challenge of finding sufficient housing for the estimated 10 million additional residents that are expected be living in Australia over the coming decades (not to mention those who are already here). It outlines the problem of housing affordability, the impact of NIMBYism, what constitutes good urban planning and what governments are currently doing to tackle housing.
Building Better Cities
This presentation by Rob Adams (head of urban planning for the City of Melbourne) at the TEDx conference in Sydney in 2010 is probably the most influential thing I’ve ever seen/heard/read when it comes to urban planning. It is why I think that higher density is good and urban sprawl is bad. Rob Adams outlines Melbourne’s plan to double its population without increasing the footprint the city, while only using 7.5% of the land.
NSW Off the Rails – Another Background Briefing documentary, this one is on the problems that Sydney has had with rail infrastructure. Unfortunately, this documentary is getting a bit dated, having been produced in 2008 and talking a lot about Labor’s later dumped metro proposal, but many of the problems and challenges still exist today.
Off the Rails – A Four Corners follow-up to the Background Briefing documentary from 2008. This was produced a year later in 2009 and overlaps quite a bit with the Background Briefing documentary.