Economics and design in medium density housing.

  • YEAR
    Turner, David
    2006 Conference Papers
    Indicators of Sustainable Building


ABSTRACT: Growth planning strategies in Australia and New Zealand’s major cities have chosen the
path of urban consolidation in an attempt to reverse the environmental and economic effects of low
density development, or ‘sprawl’. In the case of Auckland, policies designed to intensify the city have
encouraged the development of medium density housing (MDH) and apartments in various
configurations (Auckland Regional Council, 2000). Recent research suggests that these consolidation
policies will achieve their social and environmental objectives, but that economic sustainability is a less
certain outcome (Mead, 2004; Research Solutions, 2000).

Preliminary findings of a price-tracking study developed to assess the investment security of the
emergent housing typologies appear to confirm that there is cause to doubt the economic sustainability
of MDH. From the combined resources of research in the subject area it is possible to identify several
disparate causes for the investment instability of MDH, one of which is the concern expressed by
householders relating to the market characteristics of MDH as a typology (Turner, 2004; Vallance,
2005). The issues of density, and form of layout, are also addressed.


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