Density, diversity and the new Australian dream

There’s a word that triggers fear in the community.  It’s the D-word – density.

That’s why Property Council WA commissioned research to find out what density really means to people and how they believe it will impact their lives. 

The report, It Takes a Village: Density, diversity and the new Australian dream, found many Perth residents not only value the benefits of density but want positive quality-of-life spinoffs of density –including safety, easy access to transport, a sense of community and affordability.

This week, Finbar chief operations officer Ronald Chan said he found it ironic that traffic congestion was the biggest concern raised by those worried about infill and those worried about urban sprawl.

Mr Chan described confusion about the impact of creating more housing in established areas as a “key misperception”.

“I’m confused as to how congestion can be seen as the key issue for both sprawl and density,” Mr Chan said.

While housing development on the city fringes created more traffic on the roads, he said, the key difference with infill was that it was almost always co-located with high-frequency public transport and amenity.

“This reduces traffic impact as new residents have alternative choices to using their cars. Most people on the fringe have only one choice – to drive.”

When  Property Council WA asked people what they wanted most in their home and suburb, they said they wanted to feel safe, get around easily, be close to work, beach, cafes and cultural pursuits, have a sense of community, be close to open spaces, the  river and bush. And for it to be affordable. These are all benefits of density.

Governments of all persuasions know more quality urban infill in Perth is crucial to making housing affordable for future generations.

We’ve seen leadership from governments and industry on density but we know many in the community are uncertain. 

We need to demystify density and explain the positives.     

Well-designed urban density, part of the State Government's METRONET strategy, is to be walking distance to public transport, close to shops, cafes, parks, playgrounds and open public space. And that’s good for everyone.

Sandra Brewer, Property Council WA Executive Director

Negative gearing stays but has that translated into an uptick in residential sales? Find out at Property Council WA’s Residential Rebound Market Insights for WA lunch on Thursday October 24 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. To book