News & Discussion: Adelaide Urban Sprawl & Density

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urban
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#46 Post by urban » Fri May 18, 2007 9:37 am

This is the challenge for our planners, developers and architects. How do we accommodate people like Rhino without marching our suburbs ever outwards gobbling up this states best agricultural land. What happens when the paddock Rhino looks over gets subdivided and he loses his view?

We need fixed urban growth boundaries that are designed to maximise the length of the edge while maintaining connections to services. The boundaries must not be defined by freeways or major roads but by landscape features. Densities should reduce towards the edge finishing with rural living.

Courtyard homes are advertised to give the impression that they provide what rhino has described without actually achieving it. If you look over a new subdivision you will be lucky to spot a single tree in a back or front yard.

Medium density designs need to provide direct access to useable outdoor space. The current problem with CBD living is that almost all of our parks and squares are separated from residences by at least 3 lanes of traffic (sometimes 8). There are only a handful of developments that provide their own outdoor space.

Alternatives need to be examined including roof top gardens and communal outdoor space.

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#47 Post by rhino » Fri May 18, 2007 9:49 am

urban wrote:What happens when the paddock Rhino looks over gets subdivided and he loses his view?
Won't happen - I live in the catchment, although I suppose my farmer neighbour across the road could put a big farm shed in my view if he really wanted to smeg me off.

Aside from that, Urban, I fully agree with what you're saying.
cheers,
Rhino

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#48 Post by Cruise » Fri May 18, 2007 4:47 pm

rhino wrote:
crawf wrote: I'm sure if most of those city apartments were cheaper, most people would choose the CBD to live than way out in the suburbs. As everything is in the city - shops, offices, restaurants/cafes, hotels, entertainment, attractions, hospitals, universities, tafe, schools, services, parklands/gardens and better public transport etc....
No offense, but you've got a lot to learn, Crawf.

People like to have a bit of space around them, have friends over and cook them a barbecue on their patio, have a swim in their pool, work on their car in their own garage (with it's own pit), make some furniture in their own workshop in the backyard, full of their own tools and machinery, eat the fruit they've grown on their trees around the edge of the back garden, or serve up the Sunday Roast with home-grown vegies, play a game of backyard cricket with the kids or help them build a treehouse, keep a few chooks, even gardening itself is one of this country's most popular hobbies.

There are definately people to whom the CBD lifestyle is attractive, but I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say most people. Do you think Europeans who move to Australia come so that they can live in an apartment, or so that they can have their own bit of land to do with what they wish? Personally, I am not a low income earner, but even the suburbs (where I grew up) didn't have enough room for me, and now I am surrounded by cattle and grapes (neither of which are mine). Would I give this up to live in the CBD? No way!
Rhino i agree completely im in the same boat as you.
To tell you the truth i would never want to live in an apartment.

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#49 Post by AG » Fri May 18, 2007 5:01 pm

It's easy to say that Adelaide should just build lots of apartments everywhere and increase its density. Well, sure, but how many people are willing to throw away their opportunity of having a backyard and suburban lifestyle for an apartment with little to no greenery or chance for cricket in the backyard? At best it would be a minority. As far as it seems functionally more sensable to build on a smaller footprint, any plan that involves turning low-density suburbia into high-density would not prove popular from a social perspective. There needs to be a balance.

I would personally love an apartment lifestyle, particularly since I've learnt to be accustomed to apartment living in other cities and since I'd love the convenience of location. I'm indifferent to having or not having a backyard. However, I know that most people have a backyard as a must-have when considering a dwelling.

A lot of people also cannot afford to live in or near the CBD since housing prices are beyond affordability, particularly for a lot of low-income earners. They are basically forced to live in suburbs significant distances from the CBD where land and housing is cheaper.

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#50 Post by shuza » Fri May 18, 2007 5:22 pm

There needs to a be SERIOUS investment in community facilities then to accomodate the higher density lifestyle. Swimming pools, tennis courts, parks, basketball courts, football ovals, cricket pitches, bmx tracks, etc - allow more and more of these facilites to accomodate suburban areas, so that density can be introduced. Trouble is, given the size of Adelaide - not a lot of people will be willing to give up THEIR block for the community use.

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#51 Post by mooshie » Sat May 19, 2007 9:35 am

I have lived all my life up until last year in the Adelaide Hills with neighbours never closer than 250m, at Upper Sturt and Woodside. I always thought it would be terrible to live in an apartment (and still do to some extent) However, I am currently in a 2 bedroom townhouse with a double garage in a group of 6 on a 1/4 acre block in Baulkham Hills in Sydney.
I have a small backyard (easy maintenance) and it is actually quite nice. I want something like this to live in when I come back to Adelaide but there are not many new ones around. Most of the townhouses in Adelaide seem to have been built before 1980 and are pretty crappy with no garage.
The new ones in the city are all high quality and expensive, I want something newer but cheap to rent in the inner city area, surely there are more young people like me that would enjoy this lifestyle? but why bother when for $200 a week less rent you can live out in the burbs in a house with a crappy wasted backyard that you can't be bothered to maintain cos you have other priorities in life than gardening?
I am just saying that Adelaide does not have as many higher density options as other places and this is to it's detriment.

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#52 Post by jimmy_2486 » Sat May 19, 2007 3:30 pm

Yeah but thing is that people come to live here for one reason...

To enjoy a relaxing lifestyle with a big house that you dont have to pay much for. These people are obviously mid to low income earners wanting to have the lifestyle of a high income earner.

Now you cant have the cake and eat it too and obviously this shows in that these areas with large cheap houses are surrounded by nothing.... ie no/very little professional work places, no/very little transport services etc.

So the moral of the story is....get alot of money behind you and go live in somewhere like unley for everything...lol

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#53 Post by sidler » Sat May 19, 2007 3:52 pm

urban wrote:I heard a statistic several years ago that metropolitan Adelaide is the same size as singapore with 1/10th the population.
This might help to get an idea how large Adelaide's metropolitan area footprint is compared to other world cities.

Image

Adelaide in the middle
London top left
Berlin top right
Melbourne to the left of Adelaide
Calcutta to the right of Adelaide
Toronto and Rome to the right of Calcutta
Tokyo above adelaide
Sydney to right of Tokyo
Detroit bottom right
Moscow below adelaide
Mexico City below left of adelaide

Forgotton the others, someone else might be able to work it out

When you see it like this it really shows how inefficient we have been with our land use. Even compared to other Aust cities we are out of control

In my opinion the implementation of the urban growth boundary for Adelaide has been a great move.

Cheers

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#54 Post by jimmy_2486 » Sat May 19, 2007 5:37 pm

Excellent diagram there, I found that very useful.

Goes to show that adelaide is quite a large place with not much people...

I think we are accustomed to wanting nice big places with backyards and a white pickett fence...hehe

But now people have to wake up and realise that you cannot have houses like that in a city that has grown out of its "country" reputation.... WE ARE A CITY NOW, NOT A COUNTRY TOWN!!!

If you want to live in a city you have to get used to the fact that you will need to live in something small, with no backyard if you wish to live close to a city centre. You cant just waltz into adelaide say 5km from the cbd and expect to live in a country style home unless you are loaded. Try doing that in sydney, melb, etc!!

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#55 Post by shuza » Sat May 19, 2007 10:11 pm

What are you complaining about!? Someone should focus on the urban sprawl crisis of Detroit first! That land area is freaking massive.

Adelaide looks very similar in size to Toronto. Toronto has 7 or 8 million metro inhabitants i think, compared to Adelaide's 1.1 million. I think Adelaide should look to Toronto's example of city densification, because people still have their backyards there, but theres a substational amount of residents in inner-city apartments/townhouse style developments.

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#56 Post by jimmy_2486 » Sun May 20, 2007 12:01 pm

Yes a lot of major cities do have lots of properties with backyards. But the complaints most people are having is that they are too expensive, and Adelaide shouldn't follow suit because we are lucky and all that crap.

It was only that way a while ago as we still had that "country" status.

With all these developments and the gov apparently wanting 2 mill people in the metro area, we will not/are not going to keep that status.

I hear all the time, I hate other cities because they are too expensive and I love Adelaide because it is a cheap place to have a massive place.

This attitude will change when our pop increases and properties will become a lot more expensive, so what will be good about our city then??
Other places like Newcastle etc will take this status.

Which is why focus on a smaller area first, build it up so it can be more appealing.

When the pop booms and we get more industry then start doing other cbd areas eg Elizabeth, Noarlunga etc and fill them up with the urban sprawl as Adelaide CBD will be too full and expensive.

But I just cant see how starting estates some 45-50km from the ONLY cbd we have is viable?? unless you are willing to travel 2-3 hours a day to work and back or work in a factory.

I mean 1 or 2 is ok, but there are so many now and I cant see it slowing down.

If all youz guys want to see all this high rise development go ahead, the consequence will be that house prices will go up, and size of housing will go down. Which is probably why ACC rejects 99.9999% of projects that come its way, cos it is probably trying to prevent this effect from happening to Adelaide. Because with alot of adelaideian mind frames, they will probably start slitting their wrists as houses will become far too expensive, something a lot of (especially elders) people are not used to!!

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#57 Post by AG » Sun May 20, 2007 12:35 pm

jimmy_2486 wrote:Yes a lot of major cities do have lots of properties with backyards. But the complaints most people are having is that they are too expensive, and Adelaide shouldn't follow suit because we are lucky and all that crap.

It was only that way a while ago as we still had that "country" status.

With all these developments and the gov apparently wanting 2 mill people in the metro area, we will not/are not going to keep that status.

I hear all the time, I hate other cities because they are too expensive and I love Adelaide because it is a cheap place to have a massive place.

This attitude will change when our pop increases and properties will become a lot more expensive, so what will be good about our city then??
Other places like Newcastle etc will take this status.

Which is why focus on a smaller area first, build it up so it can be more appealing.

When the pop booms and we get more industry then start doing other cbd areas eg Elizabeth, Noarlunga etc and fill them up with the urban sprawl as Adelaide CBD will be too full and expensive.

But I just cant see how starting estates some 45-50km from the ONLY cbd we have is viable?? unless you are willing to travel 2-3 hours a day to work and back or work in a factory.

I mean 1 or 2 is ok, but there are so many now and I cant see it slowing down.

If all youz guys want to see all this high rise development go ahead, the consequence will be that house prices will go up, and size of housing will go down. Which is probably why ACC rejects 99.9999% of projects that come its way, cos it is probably trying to prevent this effect from happening to Adelaide. Because with alot of adelaideian mind frames, they will probably start slitting their wrists as houses will become far too expensive, something a lot of (especially elders) people are not used to!!
High land prices don't come as a result of building high-density apartments and units, high-density apartments and units are built when land prices become expensive when the investment return on smaller buildings diminishes. The price increases when the demand for the property and land increases, not when the supply of dwellings increases.

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#58 Post by jimmy_2486 » Sun May 20, 2007 7:36 pm

AG wrote: High land prices don't come as a result of building high-density apartments and units, high-density apartments and units are built when land prices become expensive when the investment return on smaller buildings diminishes. The price increases when the demand for the property and land increases, not when the supply of dwellings increases.
No you are perfectly right, but what I am saying is to focus on building up more inner areas as there are still heaps of potential and not try and concentrate on urban sprawl just yet. Adelaide is pretty much doing this and it shows. I mean u compare the transport services, amount of shops, commercialism, etc of the inner 15km to the outer 40-50.
It is much more easier to service these areas only with the smaller budget we have. I mean our population density is small enough as it is, why make it even smaller with urban sprawl?

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#59 Post by shuza » Sun May 20, 2007 8:10 pm

Adelaide's urban sprawl boundaries need to be refined, and truncated to a much smaller land area. Rather than bordering the Gawler River to the North, Hills Face Zone to the East, and the Fleurieu Ranges in the South, I would propose a reconfiguration of boundaries to the furthest extents of Little Para River in the North, Hills Face Zone to the East, and the Onkaparinga River in the South.

Adelaide's 'metropolitian' population would still include the areas of 'Greater Adelaide's extent, to the Gawler River and Fleurieu Ranges. But the urban containment boundary would be limited to the Little Para and Onkaparinga rivers. Make sense hopefully?

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#60 Post by AG » Sun May 20, 2007 8:28 pm

jimmy_2486 wrote: No you are perfectly right, but what I am saying is to focus on building up more inner areas as there are still heaps of potential and not try and concentrate on urban sprawl just yet. Adelaide is pretty much doing this and it shows. I mean u compare the transport services, amount of shops, commercialism, etc of the inner 15km to the outer 40-50.
It is much more easier to service these areas only with the smaller budget we have. I mean our population density is small enough as it is, why make it even smaller with urban sprawl?
This is where the game of politics comes into play. High-density development is generally quite unpopular amongst most suburban Australians. Example that comes to mind is when Camberwell in Melbourne received a proposal for a tall building above it's train station, and the local protest gathered so much momentum that it almost spread across Australia, may be a bit of an exageration there. The only cities in Australia so far that seemed to have embraced high-density development outside the traditional CBD are Sydney and the Gold Coast, and even in those locations there is occasional resistance. Even though in practice high-density development is more sustainable in the long-run, your average ill-informed joe doesn't have a clue.

In Adelaide's case, even though the infrastructure and services are far better developed in the inner city than the outer suburbs, they still haven't developed to a point that can support high-density. Melbourne has a well built-up tram network and train service that supports high-density while Sydney has the intense CityRail network and lots of buses running around the CBD. The suburbs of Mile End, Keswick, Kent Town, St. Peters, Medindie and even North Adelaide do not have the transportation services at least required to support higher density development IMO. Certainly though, investing in improving existing services in existing areas to support more people is a better option than building a whole hoard of new suburbs served by inefficient services.

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