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Howie
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#article : adelaide needs to go up not out

#1 Post by Howie » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:21 pm

Adelaide needs to go up, not out

August 26, 2006 12:15am
Article from: The Advertiser

IN the past five years, Adelaide has undergone its most radical change since the post-war housing boom.

High-rise residential towers have been built in the inner city. Existing office buildings have been converted to residential apartments or flats.

Several major hotels have been built in the city. And in the inner suburban areas, houses are being demolished to make way for medium-density apartment blocks.

New suburbs are still sprawling to the north and south but increasingly, Adelaide people are seeking the benefits of living in the city or the city fringes as they did a century and more ago.

It is not, of course, a phenomenon restricted to Adelaide. Cities across the world are grappling with similar trends.

The demand for inner city residential accommodation has forced other regions, particularly Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland, to alter community attitudes and town planning regulations.

Clearly, the same must happen in Adelaide.

During the building boom of the 1970s and 1980s, inner-city Adelaide was largely spared the extensive building destruction experienced in other cities.

It is imperative that the essential character of Adelaide, including the remaining unique stone buildings and elegant inner city housing, is preserved.

But that does not mean planning laws established as part of a vision in 1976 should be rigidly applied in denial of the changing demands and expectations of 2006.

With the current limitations on height, density and parking, and local government restrictions and community resistance about urban renewal, the price of inner city properties has already outstripped the financial capacity of the majority of people.

Inner-city living, now more desirable because of high petrol prices, crowded roads and longer and more flexible working hours, is becoming the privilege of the wealthy.

The chairman of the British Urban Regeneration Association, Ralph Luck, said in Adelaide this week that more land releases in outer suburban areas will not solve the problem of property affordability.
Planning laws must be relaxed

IT is people on lower incomes with limited borrowing capability who have little option but to accept land and housing packages in the sprawling new suburbs north and south of the city and in restricted areas of the Adelaide Hills.

Ironically, these people can least afford rising petrol prices, public transport fares and limited community services.

Lord Mayor Michael Harbison has repeatedly called for the construction of more low-income housing – including student accommodation – in the city.

But for potential private investors, the returns on low-income housing are not as attractive as quality apartments which increasingly sell for more than $1 million.

The release of land in outer suburbs will not arrest this trend.

What is needed is a detailed re-examination of planning laws to more comfortably embrace contemporary community expectations.

Responsibility for all editorial comment is taken by The Editor, Melvin Mansell, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide, SA 5000

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#2 Post by AG » Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:58 am

There are some ideal sites around the inner city that are prime for urban renewal, particularly in the inner west. Areas such as Mile End and Keswick as well as Kent Town are areas where many industries have abandoned their sites to move to outer suburban locations over the years, and there are numerous empty or unused sites that could be redeveloped into something like Crown Square in Sydney, or what Green Square is envisioned to be like.

The main problems though seem to be community resistance to this sort of renewal, and changes required in the transport network. Crown Square used to be the site of a glass factory, and this is highlighted by remnants left and restored in the redevelopment. It has absolutely shite transport to central Sydney though if you don't own a car, even though it is only a few km away. Green Square however has it's own new underground railway station, which is a bit of a ripoff to use though.

Urban renewal would work better if these areas were accessible by light rail, suburban rail or metro though. One should take a look at East London to see how urban renewal can be undertaken successfully. Much of the success of the business district at Canary Wharf and the surrounding residential areas is owed to the construction of the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line Extension to the London Underground.

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#3 Post by bdm » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:52 am

There should be light/rail lines going through the west (to Henley Beach) and the inner east (to Norwood).

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#4 Post by Ho Really » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:55 pm

[...]

The chairman of the British Urban Regeneration Association, Ralph Luck, said in Adelaide this week that more land releases in outer suburban areas will not solve the problem of property affordability.

[...]

The release of land in outer suburbs will not arrest this trend.

What is needed is a detailed re-examination of planning laws to more comfortably embrace contemporary community expectations.
...and our PM has this to say:
Sprawl trade off for cheap housing: PM
August 30, 2006 11:04am
AAP

AUSTRALIANS had to accept that urban sprawl was the price they had to pay for affordable housing, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

In the face of rising interest rates, the Government is trying to shifting the blame for a dearth of affordable housing to the states, saying a shortage of land, not interest rates, is the problem.

Mr Howard today repeated his message that if the states released more land, housing would not be so expensive.

"People argue ... that housing is less affordable now than it was previously. Why? It's not because of interest rates. Interest rates are half of what they were 20 years ago," he told ABC radio.

"Now why is it less affordable? Because the cost of land has gone up. Why has the cost of the land gone up? Because too little land is released."

Mr Howard said the states should release more land, which would bring down the total cost of building a home.

Using Sydney as an example, Mr Howard said that in the past 30 years the cost of land had gone up 700 per cent.

"Now the cost of building a house went up on average by 4 per cent," he said.

He accused state governments of using housing development as a revenue raiser, charging home buyers for the cost of providing services historically provided by local and state governments.

"If they had sensible land release policies and they stopped using the development process as a money raising device you would have cheaper housing for young people," Mr Howard said.

Mr Howard said urban sprawl, which in many Australian capitals already exceeded more than 100km, may be a price the nation had to pay to solve the problem of unaffordable housing.

"This issue has to be faced and the cause of housing unaffordability for some people have to be met," he said.

"I think we do have to be willing to see an even greater urban sprawl, of course we do.

"Deep down the desire still of young Australians when they have children is to have a backyard.

"I'm a great believer in that old Australian ideal of having a backyard for your children to run around in and that is what the young of Australia now want and we have to find a way of accommodating that."

Mr Howard said the housing affordability problem would continue unless more land was released.
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#5 Post by bdm » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:08 pm

Howard's got a point. Not everyone is a quasi-intellectual, greens-voting, latte-sipping individual who wants to live in high density housing.

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#6 Post by AtD » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:09 pm

Someone like Algernon would probably correct me, but one of Ralph Luck's biggest points was that releasing more land doesn't solve the affordability problem. New suburbs have cheaper land for a reason - they're so far away from everything and it takes several years for public services to catch up. Thus those who can afford it move closer to the city for the shorter commute and better services thus the prices in the inner city stay high. All the poorer people are forced out into nowhere and thus stay poor as transport costly (in terms of time and money).

Algernon, you probably should right a few short lines about why academics view sprawl as such a bad idea, so each time this topic comes up every 6 months or so, you can just copy/paste it in. :D

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#7 Post by rogue » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:45 pm

Solution lies in better servicing urban sprawl
By DEAN JAENSCH
September 20, 2006 12:15am

Article from: The Advertiser


APART from petrol, the big debating issue about prices concerns housing. The ever-increasing upward spiral of the cost of getting your own home used to be worst in Sydney, but now all cities are on it.

What is the cause and is there a solution?

From my information, it is not the cost of building the house, which has gone up very little. The problem is the price of land which, I am told, has risen 700 per cent in recent years. If so, the solution appears to be simple – make more land available, then the economic law of supply and demand will come into play and more people can have their own home.

But governments in South Australia seem reluctant to take this path. One of their prime reasons is that Adelaide has a footprint which is already far too big. The urban sprawl is now about 100km from north to south, and a stop has to be put on it spreading farther. The policy, then, is build up rather than out. Utilise urban infill and encourage two or three houses where there used to be one.

But that goes against the traditional Australian dream of a house on a quarter-acre block, a dream which is still strong for most people. I could not imagine living in a house without some dirt – for a couple of fruit trees, a vegie garden, some room for the kids to play in and the absolutely necessary shed.

Is the urban sprawl a real problem? It would have been up to the 1950s, as the central business district of Adelaide was where it all happened. The big emporiums were there, entertainment was there, Rundle St was always crowded, the big sporting events were there and a big proportion of the workforce was there.

The outlying suburbs, from Enfield to Colonel Light Gardens, from Burnside to Henley Beach, were served by tram, trolley bus and rail networks which were generally efficient.

But Adelaide's CBD is no longer the magnet. The growth of the mega shopping complexes in the outer suburbs mean people do not have to go to Adelaide. And that is very obvious to anyone with memories of the 1950s and 1960s. The city appears to be relatively deserted.

Why would anyone go to the city unless they really had to? Increasingly, people seem to be living in their own patch, out in the suburbs, and not missing Adelaide very much. The urban sprawl can be very liveable – but only if two major issues are dealt with. The first is an efficient, fast, electrified public transport system. And a system which does not assume the Adelaide CBD is the focus for everyone.

At present, the transport system is essentially radial – taking people into and out of the CBD. A lot fewer people these days want that or need that. What is needed is a cross-suburb system as well. And a north-south freeway system, bypassing Adelaide.

The second requirement is governments enforcing development which recognises the need for open space and recreation. Private developers are not committed to leaving big areas of public space. For the benefit of their shareholders (as they are required to do), they want as many houses per hectare as possible. So there may be a need for governments and public money to ensure there are open areas.

There is one more necessity. Rebuild the Housing Trust into what it was during, and for a while after, the time of Tom Playford and his advisers. Then let the urban footprint grow.

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#8 Post by AtD » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:06 pm

There is one more necessity. Rebuild the Housing Trust into what it was during, and for a while after, the time of Tom Playford and his advisers. Then let the urban footprint grow.
Because Elizabeth and Salisbury have been a smashing success!

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#9 Post by bdm » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:10 pm

AtD wrote:
There is one more necessity. Rebuild the Housing Trust into what it was during, and for a while after, the time of Tom Playford and his advisers. Then let the urban footprint grow.
Because Elizabeth and Salisbury have been a smashing success!
Elizabeth and Salisbury are a "failure" not because of the work that went into them by the housing trust (by all means, they are exceptionally designed, laid out and planned) but because of: A) the poor quality of residents, and, B) the dependence on one sector of the economy (manufacturing).

An efficent, forward-thinking housing trust not dedicated to looking after the lazy or unfortunate would be a great proposition. It could drive and plan urban growth effectively.

Tom Playford did more for this state economically that any other Premier in this state's history. His housing trust was exceptional; the one that exists today is a joke.
Last edited by bdm on Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#10 Post by UrbanSG » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:54 pm

Hahahaha,

That article is an absolute joke! I am getting sick of hearing from these urban sprawl bleading hearts. Build more infrastructure for the outer suburbs, yeah lovely idea, completely unrealstic! The whole reason we don't have good infrastructure in the outer suburbs is because the population densities are so low that it is impossible. That is the reason urban sprawl needs to be contained! People writing these articles need a basic education first. Provide more cross suburban transport? Once again nice idea but the pop densities just don't work to allow for more than a couple main inter-suburban services. The sooner the people of Adelaide realise we live in a city and need more density, the better! Go and live in a country town if you want nice big houses and gardens. We have to adapt with the times. Not to metion the envirnometally unsustainable fallout from more urban sprawl.

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#11 Post by AtD » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:04 pm

Not to mention the loss of prime agricultural land. More and more of the market gardens around areas like Parafield Gardens are being cleared for sprawl.

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#12 Post by bdm » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:58 pm

Not everyone wants to be a latte-sipping, greens-voting, professional asshole living in a small, shitty, inner-city apartment.

Families want a house and a backyard.

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#13 Post by Ho Really » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:00 pm

UrbanSG wrote:...People writing these articles need a basic education first...
And what is your education?

Cheers

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#14 Post by AtD » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:51 pm

bdm wrote:Not everyone wants to be a latte-sipping, greens-voting, professional asshole living in a small, shitty, inner-city apartment.

Families want a house and a backyard.
But how many of these homes actually have families in them?

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#15 Post by bdm » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:21 pm

AtD wrote:
bdm wrote:Not everyone wants to be a latte-sipping, greens-voting, professional asshole living in a small, shitty, inner-city apartment.

Families want a house and a backyard.
But how many of these homes actually have families in them?
The vast majority. Only students, singles, the elderly and those DINK assholes would be wasting a house. I'm not objecting to apartments per se, I'm objecting to stupidly ripping on those who stress the need for suburbs. We need suburbs, and apartment development--a balance.

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