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Collective, Co-operative, Commonsense. (Development)

By abtrway - 26 September 2011 11

I know of a few cases in Victoria where groups of interested people have got together to buy land and/or existing housing to develop it together, saving money or devloping the property along ecological or ‘green’ principles.

I know Canberrans are loathe to and probably aren’t allowed to develop existing residential properties into medium density, but does the same situation exist for rural properties? 

The choice currently seems to be soulless sameness in the new row-house suburbs or an apartment in the city. Is there anyone else out there who thinks there should be, could be a different and better way?

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Collective, Co-operative, Commonsense. (Development)
abtrway 6:28 pm 30 Sep 11

Thanks very much for the info smilesr. I’ll see what they can tell me. I’ve got nothing against the new suburbs…………well, yes actually I have, very much. Like for example, how are they exercises in long term sustainability? Is this really the best we can do?

smilesr 9:11 am 28 Sep 11

Sorry that link should be Urambi Village. It’s not easy writing code on an iPad.

smilesr 9:07 am 28 Sep 11

This has been done in Canberra in the 1970s: Urambi Village in Kambah was built with these ideals and principles by a group of people who wanted to do just that. I’m not sure how they managed to get the land but it was probably a part of a bigger parcel that was being developed at the time. Wybelena Grove in Cook was built in the same style by a breakaway group (I think they wanted their garages attached to their houses rather than separated as in Urambi).

Bramina 10:30 pm 27 Sep 11

arescarti42 said :

I can confirm the existence of this study. IIRC basically the crux of the paper was that people living in inner city apartments (in Australia at least) tend to be a lot wealthier than people living in detached housing on the fringe. As a result they use more energy than people on the fringe because they can afford to. Additionally, even though public transport in these areas are good, people tend to do a lot of driving anyway because they’re wealthy and have cars.

Now if they started building affordable apartments in inner city areas this might change a lot.

So basically wealthier people consume more, probably because people spend what they earn. Also, there is something artificially increasing the price of inner city apartments, perhaps something is blocking supply…

Bramina 10:01 pm 27 Sep 11

Jethro said :

I think the comment was referring more to the new suburbs, which cram as many houses onto small properties as possible, are are completely focussed on maximising the profits of developers with no thought given to the suburb’s aesthetic qualities. I refer you the photo of Crace that was posted on here a while back. http://the-riotact.com/images-of-canberra-crace-a-place-like-no-other/23323

If you are ever out in Western Belconnen take a walk to the trig point at the top of Goodwin Hill off Osburn Drive and compare the older suburbs with the new development in West Macgregor. The new development sticks out like a sore thumb, as it is a huge grey swathe of concrete and crammed in houses without so much as a tree. A walk through this suburb shows that there is no space or plans for trees to exist. It is a depressing place to be and shouldn’t be what people on lower incomes are forced to live in.

The Productivity Commission is doing a report into land zoning in Australia. I suspect it will be scathing of the practices that lead to monstrosities such as Crace.

arescarti42 10:55 am 27 Sep 11

housebound said :

Bramina said :

Apartments have a smaller footprint per household and allow people to live closer to the city and public transport reducing transport costs. Surely they are greener than any kind of low density housing on the fringes of a city.

Actually, it’s not as clear cut as you would think. A formal study was published in the last year or two to show it wasn’t a huge difference. As with all things academic, it will rest on the assumptions and research methods. I have no idea where to find it now, so perhaps someone else here knows.

I can confirm the existence of this study. IIRC basically the crux of the paper was that people living in inner city apartments (in Australia at least) tend to be a lot wealthier than people living in detached housing on the fringe. As a result they use more energy than people on the fringe because they can afford to. Additionally, even though public transport in these areas are good, people tend to do a lot of driving anyway because they’re wealthy and have cars.

Now if they started building affordable apartments in inner city areas this might change a lot.

Jethro 9:16 am 27 Sep 11

shadow boxer said :

luisa_batalha said :

Great idea! The way Canberra is going there will be a population of zombies in not too long a future. Most of Canberra’s new suburbs are soul killing. I know it probably is more expensive to build houses with creative arquitecture. But does it need to be so much more expensive? I think the key word here is creativity and downsizing. these days most houses show quantity (size) rather than quality. big is not necessarily beautiful and functional. with some creativity it is possible to build smaller and functional, leaving money available to better quality and personal touch rather than uniformity. ultimately this about what arquitectural legacy we want to leave to the future.

“Rolls eyes”. as oposed to the magnificent architecture on display in the inner suburbs and Belconnen. Those cold three bedroom ex-govies are cutting edge architecture.

I think the comment was referring more to the new suburbs, which cram as many houses onto small properties as possible, are are completely focussed on maximising the profits of developers with no thought given to the suburb’s aesthetic qualities. I refer you the photo of Crace that was posted on here a while back. http://the-riotact.com/images-of-canberra-crace-a-place-like-no-other/23323

If you are ever out in Western Belconnen take a walk to the trig point at the top of Goodwin Hill off Osburn Drive and compare the older suburbs with the new development in West Macgregor. The new development sticks out like a sore thumb, as it is a huge grey swathe of concrete and crammed in houses without so much as a tree. A walk through this suburb shows that there is no space or plans for trees to exist. It is a depressing place to be and shouldn’t be what people on lower incomes are forced to live in.

shadow boxer 9:00 am 27 Sep 11

luisa_batalha said :

Great idea! The way Canberra is going there will be a population of zombies in not too long a future. Most of Canberra’s new suburbs are soul killing. I know it probably is more expensive to build houses with creative arquitecture. But does it need to be so much more expensive? I think the key word here is creativity and downsizing. these days most houses show quantity (size) rather than quality. big is not necessarily beautiful and functional. with some creativity it is possible to build smaller and functional, leaving money available to better quality and personal touch rather than uniformity. ultimately this about what arquitectural legacy we want to leave to the future.

“Rolls eyes”. as oposed to the magnificent architecture on display in the inner suburbs and Belconnen. Those cold three bedroom ex-govies are cutting edge architecture.

housebound 8:34 am 27 Sep 11

Bramina said :

Apartments have a smaller footprint per household and allow people to live closer to the city and public transport reducing transport costs. Surely they are greener than any kind of low density housing on the fringes of a city.

Actually, it’s not as clear cut as you would think. A formal study was published in the last year or two to show it wasn’t a huge difference. As with all things academic, it will rest on the assumptions and research methods. I have no idea where to find it now, so perhaps someone else here knows.

From memory (and I am guessing a bit here) it had to do with occupancy rates, indoor water use (flats aren’t individually metered), air conditioning, construction methods, and probably much more. I have a vague idea it might have been an Australian study, but I wouldn’t want to count on that. It was a developed world study, though.

Without the original paper, I can’t really offer much more than that.

Bramina 10:43 pm 26 Sep 11

Apartments have a smaller footprint per household and allow people to live closer to the city and public transport reducing transport costs. Surely they are greener than any kind of low density housing on the fringes of a city.

luisa_batalha 5:48 pm 26 Sep 11

Great idea! The way Canberra is going there will be a population of zombies in not too long a future. Most of Canberra’s new suburbs are soul killing. I know it probably is more expensive to build houses with creative arquitecture. But does it need to be so much more expensive? I think the key word here is creativity and downsizing. these days most houses show quantity (size) rather than quality. big is not necessarily beautiful and functional. with some creativity it is possible to build smaller and functional, leaving money available to better quality and personal touch rather than uniformity. ultimately this about what arquitectural legacy we want to leave to the future.

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